Credit: ZUMAPRESS.com-Scanpix
Credit ZUMAPRESS.com-Scanpix

"Who is more charismatic than me? I do not know who could be apart from me". This is what Chima Moneke said after an impressive BAXI Manresa's victory at Barcelona, the first such since 1996.

The Nigerian power forward went to the stands after the game to take some photos with the fans, who had been cheering him since the warm-up. He left the court running to the locker room while the last supporters were yelling his name. 

He ended the game against FC Barcelona with 18 points and 13 rebounds in 29 minutes of action. He makes a great duo in the paint with Ismael Bako, the French youngster who was on Zalgiris Kaunas radar just a few weeks ago. 

Chima Moneke is a good reason to buy a ticket for a basketball game. His playing style is impressive and sadly less common in European basketball. He is always jumping, full of energy. He is definitely one of the most fun players to watch. 

One of the keys to his exciting performance is Pedro Martinez, BAXI Manresa's head coach. 

"I love him, but not everyone can play for him. It is not easy. Actually, I was in trouble for the first two months. I did not know if I could play for him, but we had a great conversation, and we understood each other," Moneke revealed to Movistar.

Moneke signed a one-year deal last summer with the Catalan team. He arrived from France, where he was playing with Orleans Loiret. In the first half of the season, he is shining in Spain, averaging 13.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in the ACB League. 

He started playing basketball in Australia, where he spent part of his childhood. 

"Australia will always mean a lot to me because that's where I started school. That's where I graduated, and for basketball, that's where I started playing basketball for real", he expressed in PickandRoll. 

Back in Australia he met and made a great friendship with Dante Exum, who now plays for FC Barcelona, but was out on Sunday due to coronavirus. 

This summer, Moneke took part in the historical win when Nigeria beat the United States. Despite this, he did not go to Tokyo as he was cut from the roster just before the Olympics. 

An athletic guy with glasses, dreadlocks, and plenty of charisma. His full name is Nwachukwu Iheukwumere Chima Moneke. Do not try to pronounce it, just enjoy him.

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