Basketball star shines in Italy

HARARE - Zimbabwe top basketball player Vitalis Chikoko made an impressive debut for Serie A side Grissin Bon Reggio in Italy earlier this week.

The former Prince Edward School power forward made a 13-minute appearance against Dinamo Sassari, making four blocks and winning five rebounds.

That sensational spell earned him a place in the Serie A record books as it is only second to Gerben Van Dorpe who completed four blocked shots in nine minutes.

The Zimbabwean’s impressive performance helped his team beat Dinamo Sassari 74-66 and now he has set his sights on helping his new team finish the league on top spot.

“I think that for me this is a great opportunity and a step forward in my career,” the six foot nine inches tall Chikoko told Sporttando of Italy.

“I am stimulated by being able to work with a group that is fighting for the top positions in the Italian league, so I can only assure you I will give it my all,” he said.

Grissin Bon Reggio sports director Biancorosso Alessandro Frosini was also excited by signing Chikoko.

“With Chikoko to our roster. We have an athlete with different characteristics compared to the ones we already have.

“Vitalis is an athlete who can occupy both positions of power forward and centre. He has very long arms that allow him to be a good defender and shot blocker.

“In attack, he has a decent game inside and in recent years has honed his shooting.

“We are focusing on him in anticipation of the next season. We are confident that he can make a great contribution in this season finale,” he added.

Chikoko joined the Italian side early this month from Germany side TBB Trier.

The 24-year-old’s stock has been on the rise since making the NBA draft in 2013.

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