VITALIS Chikoko’s star in European basketball continues to shine bright after the talented power forward was snapped up by Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) club Bayern Munich from Italian side Scaligera Tezenis Verona. BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The 25-year-old Zimbabwean basketball player, who has previously played for BBL clubs BG Göttingen (2011–2012) and TBB Trier (2012–2015) before his stint in Italy, joins the Bavarian club on a short-term deal until the end of the season.
Bayern Munich, who are aiming to reclaim the German championship this year after losing 2-3 to Brose Baskets in the BBL finals last season confirmed Chikoko’s transfer, and that of guard Chad Toppert on their official website on Wednesday.
“FC Bayern Basketball moved to strengthen their roster before the close of the transfer window by recruiting power forward Vitalis Chikoko (25) and winger Chad Toppert (30).
“They both have BBL experience – the former has made 111 appearances in the division for a combination of Göttinghen and Trier, with the latter playing for Artland between 2013 and 2015.
“Chikoko has signed on the line until the end of the campaign. Topper’s deal will run for two months initially but there is an option to extend it.
“Chikoko is a big presence under the boards. The left-handed player is the seventh international star on the Bayern roster and achieved his greatest feat in sport last term.”
“He left Trier to join Italian side Reggio Emilia, who reached the finals, but lost a game seven decider to eventual champions Sassari (4-3). He featured on 24 occasions for them, averaging 12 minutes, 4,1 points and 3,6 rebounds per game.
“Before arriving in Trier in 2012, he played for Göttingen. During 2013 he represented the Houston Rockets in the NBA Summer League. During his most recent season in Germany (2014/15) he averaged 12,3 points, 5,2 rebounds and 1,7 blocks per game. He was most recently contracted to Verona, in Italy’s second division, where he was averaging 8,6 points, 7,9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game,” the Germany giants said.
Chikoko began his basketball career with Mbare Heat in the Harare Basketball Association before his moves to Germany and Italy.