Chima Moneke woke up on the morning of May 8 with a missed call that would change his career, which had been littered with near-misses and maybe-next-times from coaches all around the world.
The call, which he promptly returned, was from Nigeria, and now Sacramento Kings, head coach Mike Brown, calling to say that he wanted Moneke on his Kings team. This despite Brown leaving Moneke off the Nigerian Olympic roster last year.
Moneke, used to being promised one thing and then delivered another, was shocked. Burned by the omission from the Tokyo team, he didn’t quite believe Brown when he said he’d like to secure Moneke’s services.
“[Brown] always told me that our paths would cross again and that if there was anything that I needed, that I should let him know. This was when I got cut for the final [Nigeria] selection,” Moneke told ESPN.
“At the time, I was upset because I got cut, so I…