West Notes: Jazz, Donovan Mitchell, Kings, Timberwolves



Former UC Davis forward Chima Moneke is ready to make the leap to the NBA with Mike Brown and the Kings. Moneke played for Brown and assistant Jordi Fernandez with the Nigerian national team.

“I had to choose between Sacramento and two other NBA teams that were interested,” Moneke said, via Basket News. “It was a surreal moment.”

Moneke, 26, is 6-foot-6 and spent his first four pro seasons in Spain and France. Brown and his assistants with the Nigerian national team won over Moneke and convinced him it was time to give the NBA a run.

“On the morning of the Champions League final, I woke up, and there was one missed call from the night. It was Mike,” Moneke said, via Basket News. “I called him back, and he told me he would be the Kings coach and wanted me to be a part of it. It was surreal to hear that.”

“But my agent told me it was going to happen. Brown brought the two assistant coaches from Nigeria, and I had a great relationship with them. The reason I came to Manresa is Jordi Fernandez. I have a close relationship with him, and he is the biggest reason it happened this time, too.”

He’s confident he can make his mark in the league.

“I train with NBA stars — Joel Embiid, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum, among others, and I do not look at them as heroes,” he said. “I look at them because they are where I want to be, but in the end, they are basketball players who play at the highest level.”


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