Chima Moneke may not be as well know as some other young basketball talents like Dante Exum, Ben Simmons and Thon Maker but this doesn’t mean he won’t stand beside these stars while the Australian national anthem plays at a future international tournament.
Chima has walked a very unique path thus far. Beginning in Nigeria, travelling half-way across the world to being schooled in Australia and now to the USA where he has the opportunity to developed his game with top level coaches as well as receive a quality education from the University of California, Davis.
Moneke has arrived at UC Davis after spending two seasons playing junior college at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Neb., where he averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds in helping his team to a 25-7 record as a senior.
The talented 6-foot-6 forward grew up in Canberra, Australia and played at the incredibly successful high school basketball program there alongside Dante Exum. He averaged 22 points and 18.1 rebounds (He scored 42 points in one game during his senior year and recorded a 20-rebound game) while Lake Ginninderra College lost only twice in his final year there.
Monke’s skill set has conjured up comparisons to many NBA stars, but Moneke feels he has a similar game to a very talented Toronto Raptor.
“I’ve been told by several people that I remind them of Demar Derozan. Athletic wing player that can play defence, score, and contribute to any team I’m on” said Moneke.
Despite Moneke receiving offers from numerous schools he is more than happy with his decision to play at UC Davis.
“I have offers from UC Davis, Portland State, Charleston Southern University, NC Central, and St. Francis (Brooklyn). I have interest from dozens more including Oregon State, Washington, South Dakota but being at a place where I’m comfortable being myself, I can trust the coach, I will play straight away, I have good people as teammates, and good weather are all important to me” Moneke said.
“The coaching staff recruited me for the longest time and is confident about developing my game to reach the next level. I am excited to join a team that has great chemistry among its coaching staff and throughout the program”.
Coach Jim Les expects big things immediately from Moneke and is quick to praise his ability to “dominate around the basket with his rebounding and scoring ability.”
It’s clear UC Davis are aware of the abilities of Chima Moneke, it won’t be long before the rest of the Big West Conference are made aware as well.
Note: UC Davis set school victory records with its 25 overall, 14 league, 14 home, 11 non- conference and 10 road wins last season.