Sunday, April 22, 2018

Mavunga drafted into the WNBA

SOMEONE at the Basketball Union of Zimbabwe is sleeping on the job!
A week after Stephanie Mavunga wrote her name in the history books by being drafted into the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), the union is dithering on moves to have her wear national team colours.
Muvanga emerged as a surprise second round pick, and 14th overall, during the WNBA Draft held at the Nike New York Headquarters on April 12.
The 23-year-old will now be plying her trade in her adopted home state, Indianapolis, with the Indiana Fever.
As her stock shoots through the roof, BUZ appear frozen in time as they are yet to sound out Mavunga on whether she is ready to play for the women’s national team.
The Union hasn’t even congratulated her for the record breaking feat!
“Yes, we are aware of Stephanie being drafted into the WNBA, but we are yet to contact her,” said BUZ president Joe Mujuru.
“We just got into office and have a lot of things on our plate, chief amongst them the upcoming BUZ National league and appointment of national team coaches.
“What I can confirm is that we aware of her talents, we do have her in our database but we are yet to reach out to her. We have tried reaching out to her in the past and I think there were some issues to do with her passport and the cost of flying her over.”
Born on February 24, 1995 in Harare, Mavunga comes from a basketball-family. Her brother, Julian, is currently plying his trade in Japan with Kyoto Hannaryz and has been on BUZ’s radar for some time now.
At Indiana Fever, Mavunga is expected to link up with her sister-in-law, Julian’s wife Jeanette Pohlen-Mavunga and former Ohio State University teammate and fellow draftee Kelsey Mitchell.
Mavunga sounded ready to explode when she spoke to the US media soon after her draft.
“I tried not to get too much into the mock drafts,” she was quoted as saying by various news outlets.
“I didn’t want to get too excited. But I definitely can’t lie and say I didn’t think of it as a possibility. To be honest, I just really wanted to get drafted,” she said.
Despite being born in Harare, Stephanie did most of her schooling in the United States of America.
But it was only when she enrolled at Ohio State University that her basketball career really took off, earning three all-conference honours.
In her final collegiate season, Mavunga finished third in the B1G in rebounds with 11 per game.
She coupled that with 16.6 points per contest, and averaged a double-double for each of her last two seasons as a Buckeye (Ohio State University basketball team).
Her 19 double-doubles were second most in the Big Ten, and ninth-best nationally in the 2017-18 season.
Mavunga is lauded for bringing “a toughness to the court that is valuable on both ends of the floor”.
“She is also able to create her own shots, capitalizing on her size and athleticism,” reads her bio.