10 NBA Stars With The Toughest Childhoods
The name D.J. Mbenga won’t ring any bells with most readers – he’s a Belgian-Congolese player who played in the NBA from 2004 to 2011, including back to back championships with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010.
Mbenga grew up in Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo. His father was a government employee, so when the new regime took over, his whole family was imprisoned. His father was unable to save himself from execution, but managed to negotiate for D.J. and his mother to fell to Belgium, where Mbenga would learn basketball from Belgian legend Willy Steveniers.