Innocent Kurira 

ZIMBABWE national team basketball captain, Vitalis Chikoko, has become the first African to win the French Cup and get named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the second year running. 

His team, Dijon, were crowned champions of the Coupe de France 2024 tournament after winning 83-70 against Strasbourg. 

Dijon dominated the first quarter and led by five points.

The last stanza was decisive in the game as Dijon ensured a 25-10 surge to seal the trophy. 

Chikoko was the standout player for Dijon, scoring 20 points. 

He was followed by Giovan Oniangue with 16 points. 

Tyrius Mcgee scored 19 points for Dijon while Phil Booth contributed 13. 

Basketball Union of Zimbabwe president, Joe Mujuru, praised Chikoko.

“We are pleased to see Chikoko doing so well. We couldn’t be more proud. His achievements are a point of pride for both Zimbabwe and the entire African continent. 

“This success will go a long way in motivating and inspiring some of the basketball youngsters here in Zimbabwe and on the continent as a whole,” said Mujuru. 

The 2,08m tall Chikoko is widely acknowledged as one of the top players in the French Jeep Elite ProA. 

Chikoko has earned three successive All-Star nominations in the last three seasons while also being a serious contender for the Jeep Elite ProA MVP, to underline his status as one of the big stars of the French top division.

The Zimbabwe national team star has been based in Europe since 2011 when he moved to German club BG Goettingen. 

After one season with Goettingen, Chikoko went to TBB Trier before his journey led him to Italy with Reggio Emilia and Verona. 

He returned to Germany with FC Bayern Munich before moving to France in 2016.

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