05 October, 2021
15 May, 2022
Chima Moneke (MANR)
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Once a YouTuber, now a BCL star: Chima Moneke is MVP of April

MIES (Switzerland) - BAXI Manresa stormed through to reach the Final Four, and Chima Moneke played his best basketball of the season, earning the last monthly award in the Basketball Champions League. Moneke is the MVP of April. 

Manresa's power forward first had 11 points and 11 rebounds - his first double-double of the BCL campaign - in Game 1 against Unicaja. He followed it up with a near perfect performance on the road in Malaga in Game 2: 24 points in 24 minutes, with 5 rebounds and 3 steals also to his name.

Not too bad for a man who once created his own YouTube highlights in hope of getting a scholarship offer from the United States.


"I emailed hundreds of schools. Hundreds. I spent my time doing that and a lot of people didn't believe in me back then. So I made two highlight tapes that are still on YouTube, and I sent them to so many schools, and I only got two responses," Moneke said in his BCL Diary video.

"I almost gave up."

Luckily, he didn't give up. Being Dante Exum's teammate helped, as numerous scouts came to Australia to watch Exum, a lottery pick, play. Moneke caught the attention of one scout who made the phone call, and got Chima to Northeast Community College in the USA.

The rest is, as they say, history. The Nigerian-born forward grew with each passing season, from the French second division clubs all the way to Manresa, who were in search for an intense, energetic, hyperactive guy to play around 20 minutes per game.

"We thought that he could be ready for the next step, to play ACB, to play BCL," - BAXI Manresa's sports director Xevi Pujol said.

The club loves him, the fans love him, the teammates love him. Moneke's high energy may come as offensive to the opponents, but there is nothing fake about this guy.

"People who don't know him, they're gonna be like, 'oh, he's arrogant, he just wants to show another personality of him.' That's not true. That's him. He's like that off the court, on the court. That's it. That's him," teammate Sylvain Francisco explained.

The 26-year-old is averaging 13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in the BCL, just under his Liga Endesa numbers that saw him put up 14.1 points and 8.3 rebounds every week. There is a whole segment of hustle that stats will never show, you'll have a hard time finding somebody who works as hard as Chima Moneke.

"I think the biggest thing that fuels him... You know, him being so young, he wasn't the main guy. He wasn't the guy that was told he was gonna be able to do anything with basketball. He's just been able to prove everyone wrong. He's gonna continue to keep proving everybody wrong," ex teammate, current Barcelona player Dante Exum offered.


Moneke and Manresa dominated the Regular Season. They got through to the Quarter-Finals without stress. They swept Unicaja to reach Semi-Finals.

With two games to play, they are not done yet.

"This is the most fun I've ever had in anything I've ever done in my life. I feel like this team... In ten years, people will still be talking about this team," Moneke concluded.

He received his award in person this week in Manresa, Spain.