By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE international basketball player Vitalis Chikoko continues to break new ground after being named as one of the finalists for the coveted French National Basketball League (LNB) Pro A’s Most Valuable (MVP) award.
The 28-year-old centre who has been enjoying a memorable season for French topflight side Élan Béarnais Pau-Orthez, was named amongst the four finalists for the prestigious gong ahead of the end of season French LNB Pro A Awards.
Chikoko is the sole African player to be named among the five-man finalists along with the French trio of Youssoupha Fall (Strasbourg), Lahaou Konaté (Nanterre), Paul Lacombe (Monaco) and American David Holston (Dijon).
The Zimbabwean star is among the frontrunners to win the award for the first time in his career after a remarkable season in which he almost single-handedly led Élan Béarnais Pau-Orthez to a place in the French LNB Pro A playoffs.
In 32 games played, Chikoko is averaging 15.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per match.
Chikoko’s MVP nomination comes after he was in December rewarded for his consistent run of form over the last two seasons after being selected to feature in the prestigious French National Basketball League (LNB) All-Star Game.
The LNB All-Star Game is a high-profile basketball exhibition game hosted every year pitting a mix of the league’s star players from France against a team of the best foreign players plying their trade in the league.
The Glen View-bred star, whose ultimate dream is to play in the United States’ lucrative National Basketball Association (NBA), has been based in Europe since 2011 when he joined German Bundesliga side ASC Göttingen from Mbare Heat before switching base to fellow German top-flight side TBB Trier.
Chikoko also had stints in Italy with Pallacanestro Reggiana and Tenezis Verona in 2015 before returning to Germany a year later after being signed by Bayern Munich.