CANBERRA, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Twenty-two year-old Australian prospect Chima Moneke has put himself forward for the National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft in the United States later this month.
Moneke, who starred on the US college basketball scene at the University of California, Davis, hopes to be picked up in the 2018 draft on June 22. He is considered to have a good chance of being chosen.
The 198cm power forward tried out with NBL champions Melbourne United earlier in the year, but has sights firmly set on returning to the US and the NBA.
"As years progressed it kept being a dream, then all of a sudden it became a reality, something that I had to truly dig in and make happen,” Moneke said on Friday.
"I’m in that process right now and I believe it is very possible. It’s a huge month, it’s something I have been looking forward to for a while.
"I have prepared for everything and I understand that even if I don’t get drafted it’s not the end of the world.”
Moneke is accustomed to setbacks, after he was hit with a suspension ahead of the biggest clash of his university career.
He was leading in scoring and rebounding, and turning heads according to several postseason and preseason polls, when his 2017-18 season came to an end on 3 February amid accusations of "violating team rules that govern conduct at the team's hotel".
He missed UC Davis’ late season run and had to watch as his team bowed out in the Big West conference semi-finals.
Moneke describes his college career as "the best time of my life and the worst time of my life at the same time", but insists he has matured as he moves one step closer to turning his dream into reality.
University officials and members of the Los Angeles Police Department refused to reveal details of their investigation into the incident, however all charges were quickly dismissed.
"Most of [the University experience] was very positive and full of very great moments but it ended in a way that helped me to focus on what’s important and focus on staying true to myself,” Moneke said.
The youngest of six boys born in Abuja to Nigerian diplomats, Moneke has lived on five continents and attended schools in Turkey, Switzerland, France, Nigeria and Canberra, Australia.