By Tadious Manyepo
Harare City Hornets power forward, Manoah Ntini, has erected a makeshift basket at home to help him work on his vertical leap which he says is his Achilles Heel.
The 23-year-old former UZ Stars player, who joined Hornets at the start of the 2019-2020 season, is looking forward to perfect his vertical skills when the Harare Basketball Association season resumes.
His club lead the standings and need only three wins, from four games, to retain the championship.
Ntini is relishing the opportunity to win the HBA league for the first time in his career.
“Obviously, I am looking forward to winning my first HBA title and play in the national championships,” he said.
“I am someone who is still growing in the game and I would like to thank my new teammates who have shown me great respect.
“You know, it’s not easy to come to a new team, especially in the game of basketball, and settle that fast.
“You need some time to learn the philosophy and the everything else. But, I haven’t had any problems settling as a player.
“I owe all this to my teammates who welcomed me and helped me settle.”
He said he has now made huge steps in his vertical leap.
“To be honest, basketball is about how far can you spring up. Despite possessing almost all the fundamental requisites of the game, I have always encountered a lot of difficulties in this aspect of the game.
“This is why I have decided to work on it. I am now in week eight of those workouts. I hope and believe that I will be able to attain the right vertical leap.
“I am still growing and if I manage to win the title then that will be a huge confidence booster in my career.”
Hornets are looking to defend the title for the third successive season.
Meanwhile, the HBA have bailed 11 of their match officials who solely depend on them for survival.
The rest of the officials are employed.
Two other players, who do not have some other form of employment, also benefited from the initiative.
HBA Women and Youth Commissioner, Ruvimbo Makamure, said the league decided to help the officials and they will continue doing that until the season resumes.