Serge Ibaka was supposed to miss the rest of the playoffs with an injury but good rest, ice and a little help from his celebrity girlfriend Keri Hilson enabled the Thunder star to experience a speedy recovery.
Ibaka returned for game three of the Western Conference Finals and inspired his Oklahoma City Thunder team to 106-97 victory over the visiting San Antonio Spurs.
Ibaka scored 15 points and resurrected a frightening defensive presence to lead his team to their first win of their series and he told USA Today Sports the many inspirations he credited with his return to the hardwood.
Ibaka said: "I believe in God, and I believe in miracles, and I believe that everything is possible," When I did the MRI (on the calf), and the MRI showed us that I was really bleeding a lot, but I said, 'I just want to keep believing, man.'"
The power forward also attributed his speedy recovery to the care provided by his sister Rachina and his pop star girlfriend Keri Hilson.
Hilson took to Instagram to joke around with her followers about the role she was currently fulfilling in regards to Serge and his injury, she posted this 'picture' but also gave reference to "God and Ice" for the treatment.
Hilson also spoke of the situation with her NBA boyfriend: "Even though he didn’t say it, I knew he needed me. I needed to do anything I could to put a smile on his face. He didn’t have a smile on his face all week. It was very hard. It was really hard. He’s one of the most dedicated people I’ve ever seen in any field, one of the most dedicated people I’ve ever been able to witness."
Serge ignited an otherwise flat Thunder squad to a game three victory over the Spurs and looks to continue his effect on the ball club as the Western Conference Finals resumes.