By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Definitely the best story of the 2021-22 Basketball Champions League and among the feel-good stories of the NBA offseason. Chima Moneke remains confident as the chance to show his explosive talents in the NBA inches closer.
Moneke, 26, was named season MVP in the BCL and went from Baxi Manresa to the Sacramento Kings and reuniting with Mike Brown. The combination surfacing in the Nigeria senior national team was a key part of the journey to Sacramento.
“He believed in me. He is vouching for me by me being here,” he described getting to play under Brown again during the 2022 preseason Media Day organized by the Kings Monday, “I have to prove him right.”
Coming out of UC Davis in 2018, he went from the California university to the second division of France. Working his way up to the top-tier league of the country and from there to Manresa for the brilliant 2021-22 campaign in the Champions League and Spain’s Liga Endesa.
“I know I belong in the league,” he stated, “Every summer I play and work out with NBA guys. The world doesn’t really know me yet. That’s fine. I know I belong.”
Quickly adjusting to new and challenging environments during his career, Moneke is a solid player on both ends of the court. Labeled as a late bloomer, he does not shy away from setting the bar higher. “I knew I belonged in the NBA four years ago,” he confidently added.
The connection between UC Davis and the Kings is there but home lies elsewhere. “I am Nigerian. I grew up in Australia. Those are my homes,” he explained, “I spent three good years at Davis. I also spent two years in Nebraska for junior college. But I would not consider that home.”
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