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Basketballer makes history


Rising Zimbabwean basketball star Vitalis Chikoko on Tuesday sealed a move to German Bundesliga side BG Göttingen in what is being touted as one of the biggest moves in local basketball.

Chikoko signed a four-year deal.

The 20-year-old Mbare Heat towering centre-forward, who is more than two metres tall, signed with the European club after impressing during a week-long trial period recently.

Göttingen is a respected club with a great history in the Euro Challenge. It has two professional basketball teams, the men’s and women’s teams in the Basketball-Bundesliga.

The deal was brokered by head coach at Mbare Heat, Peter Mubanda. Chikoko, who is nicknamed “Alefu” because of his towering height, is expected to link up with his teammates on September 14.

In an interview with NewsDay Sport on Tuesday, Chikoko said he hoped the move to Germany would be a springboard to the prestigious NBA in the US, which remains his ultimate goal.

“Both the club’s coaches and players were impressed and I was confident of making the grade.

“I should be moving to my new club next week and I’m really looking forward to linking up with my new teammates as the new season there started last weekend,” said Chikoko who wears size 13 shoes imported from South Africa.

Chikoko featured for the senior national team at the Zone VI All-Africa Games qualifiers in December.

Prior to that, Chikoko had captained the national Under-18 basketball team in 2009 during the Fiba World Championships qualifiers which Zimbabwe hosted at the City Sports Centre.

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