Latest D’Tigers debutant, Chima Moneke, is excited about what the future holds for him and the team following their qualification for the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket championship.
Moneke, who made his debut for Nigeria against South Sudan, announced his presence on the international scene with eight points and five rebounds under 13 minutes as the D’Tigers secured a hard fought 75-70 point victory.
The power forward, who plays for Orléans Loiret Basketball Club in France, said it was an emotional moment for him, his parents and loved ones as he stepped on the court to represent his fatherland.
“Making my debut for Nigeria was exciting and I am grateful for this opportunity. My parents, my family and friends are all very proud.”
After being named in the 12-man team invited to Kigali for the second window of the qualifiers last year, many Nigerians expected him to make his debut. Due to administrative reasons bothering on registration and eligibility; he had to sit the games out.
With a decent performance in his first three games, the 25-year-old told Nigerians that they are yet to see the best of him.
He assured that with more time in the team and more games, he would surely get comfortable in the team.
“I am excited to see where this can take me. As I play more games, I will get more comfortable and hopefully get more opportunities to show what I can do,” he added.
Not getting carried away with the recent success, Moneke is optimistic of a long and eventful career for Nigeria laden with trophies.
“I am happy with the statistics. I am happy with winning and I just hope that I am able to do this for a long time because what is better than playing for your country. I can’t think of anything else.”
Moneke averaged six points and 5.3 rebounds after three games as he contributed his quota to the team’s unbeaten run and eventual qualification for the Afrobasket championship that will be hosted in Kigali, Rwanda later this year.