The Wonderful Fate of Shima Monique

It will not be the first nor the last. Let’s quote Devin Booker, who cut Nancy during his first career try and now at the helm of four consecutive campaigns in the Euroleague, or Austin Hollins, who passed near the guillotine in Dennin to finish at Red Star. As classic as it gets at the end, the Chima Moneke track is nonetheless one of European basketball’s greatest stories.

Unwelcome in Normandy…

Less than four years ago, a simple UC Davis, Australian-Nigerian freshman found himself fired by Rowan, his number one employer. Promising in the Leaders Pro B Cup (10.8 points at 59% and 6.2 rebounds for a rating of 15.2), he had completely collapsed at the start of the tournament (4.3 points at 29% and 3,3 rebounds). What found himself marginalized by Alexandre Maynard, who then showed himself stinging in the columns of Paris-Normandy. “It’s not easy to adapt when you’re a rookie. I see him making an effort but there’s still progress to be made, like when he lost the ball in a throw-in against Kimber. You have to erase that, it’s not possible when you’re a pro. It’s a mistake. I like to focus on the balls.” Rebounds and shots from outside. […] His stats don’t meet our expectations. Maybe winning without him shows that we are playing better. »


Chima Moneke started with a failure in Ruan
(Photo: Gerard Halleus)

In fact, after becoming no-bomb in Rouen, Shima Muniki found himself consigned to the bleachers for six weeks, before Dennin considered him as a third option. Unhappy Christopher Akcox in the North, his freelance reporter Jonathan Augustin-Ferrell is quickly injured, and the Dragon has driven him a bit of despair. But no one had to regret it. Notably Rowan who hired Lasan Kromah instead and went to the final of the tournament, notably Denain who changed Moneke upon his arrival. “He’s a nice person, and a good friend,” confirmed Rémy Valin at La Voix du Nord. “He has the qualities and flaws of his youth. He doesn’t make noise, but brings his energy. With his points and repetitions we are better.” He was initially appointed as a medical independent, then his work was quickly extended until the end of the season (14.2 points, 57%, 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists) .

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Denin allowed Monkey to recover
(Photo: Christophe Delruux)

“A lot of people tell me I can’t do that”

The rest is known: a season in Quimper confirming he’s the sixth best man in Pro B (15.8 points at 57%, 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists) and then a quick learn up-level in Orleans (13.7 points at 63%, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists). The Nigeria international managed from the start to change the game with his athletic performance and intensity, and learned to settle emotionally during his three seasons in France. Time to quit: Manresa tried Chima Moneke’s bet and has been living a true fairy tale ever since. The former CNY rookie rookie turned UEFA Champions League best player (13.1 points, 57%, 6.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.3 steals), an award officially awarded in Bilbao this afternoon.

“Anyone can see the MVP Cup or be selected in the perfect team, but I promise you there will be several days when it doesn’t look like that. A lot of people have told me that I won’t be able to do that and that’s why I play with so much emotion and rage. I always want to prove to some People that they were wrong. Even now because I spend a lot of time away from my family. I haven’t seen my parents since 2009, my brothers since 2019 and there are a lot of hard days. This cup means a lot to me because I know they are watching me. In two weeks, my brothers will be With me, this is the most important thing. […] From Pro B Cup to MVP? The most important word is “faith”. I always believed in myself, even when I didn’t have a resume. If you had met me three years ago, you would have seen that I had the same booty or the same confidence as I do today. I had a vision that all of this would happen one day, so that doesn’t seem unlikely. »

On Sunday, after getting on the ice, Chima Moneke will try to get the cake by winning the BCL Final against Tenerife. “It’s a magical season and I don’t want it to end,” he sighed, shaken. Champions League MVP, one match away from a European Champion’s Cup, best rated Liga Endesa (and thus best potential player), not bad for someone who’s no longer allowed to go out on Kindarena during the fall of 2018, right?

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With 13 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists, MVP dominated again on Friday in the semi-finals
(Photo: FIBA)

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