Bravehearts youngster Vitumbiko Mponela shone like a beacon when he was named the Most Valuable Player during this year’s Fiba Africa Youth camp in Kenya recently.
Mponela defeated fellow youngsters from 20 countries. This means the Malawian is the best player in East and Southern Africa in the Under-18 category.
Mponela travelled to Kenya alongside Basketball Association of Malawi Director of Youth Dean Lungu, who commended the youngster for performing beyond expectations.
“Vitumbiko has done us proud. Top coaches and scouts from NBA Africa have already started asking about him,” Lungu said.
Mponela also benefited from the camp as he was drilled by top coaches from around the continent.
Bravehearts Patron Griffin Kalua hailed the youngster for showing great character.
“Vitumbiko is the future of Malawi basketball and we hope that he will be a big star if well nurtured. He is a disciplined player on and off the court,” Kalua said.
Mponela is in his first season in the Central Zone Basketball League, having been promoted from Bravehearts’ developmental team.
Federation of International Basketball Africa Development Council President Jean- Michel Ramaroson told Mozzart Sport in Kenya that the camp will be an annual event.
“The plan is to have yearly editions of this camp here. This will help us build a database of youth players across federations. We know we cannot develop skills in three days. We are here to make sure that there is no gap. We will then do follow-up programs with the coaches,” he is quoted as saying.
The camp attracted players from countries such as Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda and South Africa.