HomeSportMabiza lights up SA Basketball League

Mabiza lights up SA Basketball League


ZIMBABWEAN professional basketball player Tichafara Mabiza was early this week named South African basketball’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) to cap off an outstanding season in which led Tshwane Suns to their second successive Basketball National League (BNL) title.


The 28-year-old point guard was a key figure in the all-conquering Tshwane Suns team consistently catching the eye with his slick ball-handling and ability to create shots for himself and his teammates.

Mabiza, who played for Jewels Basketball Club, Kingdom Cavaliers and the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo before relocating to South Africa, said he was delighted with the recognition.

“Being named the MVP was humbling,” Mabiza told NewsDay Sport in an interview from his base yesterday.

“I felt a mixture of gratitude, shock, and ultimately an overwhelming feeling of euphoria. I was humbled because I never considered such accolades when I played. I just tried to make the plays that my team needed me to make for us to win. All glory be to God, without whom these victories would have been impossible. Winning the league was an awesome experience. We won it last year, and being able to repeat as Champions was even better.

We have a great team, a great bunch of guys who play for each other, so winning the championship game was a pretty emotional experience for us,” he said.

Tshwane Suns, who are also home to two other Zimbabweans, Dumisani Moyo and Allen Danga, have dominated the BNL since it became professional last season.

Mabiza, who is a qualified actuarial analyst after studying for a degree in Actuarial and Financial Mathematics at the University of Pretoria, joined Tshwane Suns in August 2013, two months before the commencement of the inaugural Basketball National League season.

The former Victoria High School student credits his career to the support and coaching he received from the late former Zimbabwe coach Ronal Garura who passed way two years ago.

“Coach Ronald (Garura) took me under his wing when I was a raw prospect. When all I had was athleticism, speed, and a good handle. He made me understand how to think the game of basketball, how to dictate the pace of a game and how to bring the best out of my team-mates. It was also the first time I learnt how to play structured basketball. He instilled in me the importance of a disciplined workout regimen. Words cannot express how much of this MVP award is due to the tutelage I received when he was coaching me,” he said.

Mabiza is among a large group of Zimbabwean players doing well in both the men and women’s leagues in South African Africa.

Besides his teammates at Tshwane Suns, Moyo and Danga, others include Stenard Mapurisa who is also playing well for the Western Cape Mountaineers as their starting point guard.

In women’s basketball, Natalie Pike, Dorcas Marondera and Minenhle Moyo played in the Women’s All Star exhibition game that was held before the BNL finals.
Pike is playing for the Soweto Raptors as a versatile guard/forward while Marondera and Rachael Makoni are playing well for the Vaal University of Technology at the power forward and point guard positions respectively.

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