When the most NBA fans hear the name Shima MunikiThey would probably sit there with a surprised look on their faces, thinking about the questions, who is this guy? From where he came? And why would he sign it to the most famous free agents still available?
Moneke is a Nigerian player who has bounced around the world trying to fulfill his NBA dreams. Born on Christmas Eve 1995 in Australia, the 6-foot-622-pound striker is a culturally diverse man who has experienced many different styles of basketball during his travels.
After playing college basketball at nearby UC Davis from 2016 to 2018, Moneke played in both France and Spain for a range of different teams from 2018-22. He also played for Sacramento Kings Coaches Mike Brown, Jordi Fernandez and Luke Locks while competing for the Nigeria team last summer, which eventually led to his signing with Sacramento when Brown and the company took over.
So Kings just signed Shema Monique. It reminds me a lot of Gary Payton II with the Warriors. No wonder Mike Brown loves him so much. I’d love to see him play a similar role with royalty. We have rear wing / front wing options now. pic.twitter.com/jWkly1AdH0
– Magnus Savage (@MagnusSav) July 17 2022
Although Moneke is unlikely to be a massive contributor to the Kings this season, I think he can still be a very useful tool on the bench. The best case scenario for him is that he proves he deserves to be on the NBA roster.
He enrolled in a university program most of the country’s residents weren’t familiar with, and then bounced across Europe. He also did not make the final cut for Nigeria’s team at the Tokyo Olympics. Moneke will be playing with a chip on his shoulder this season and he’s found the perfect position to at least prove he has the talent in the league.
On the flip side, the worst-case scenario for Monique is that he proves all his skeptics wrong and becomes a lost signature. Nobody really expects him to notify the league. However, what they expect is that whenever he gets the chance to play, he makes the most of it and plays with a big heart.
If he were content to simply put on the shirt and sit on the bench, the fans wouldn’t be happy because the Kings gave him a contract rather than someone who wanted to work hard and help the organization.
This will likely be Moneke’s turn this season; The guy who needs to step in when someone else goes out and plays with a heart. At his aforementioned size, he can play both small forward and power forward and will be used primarily as a new item. In college, he averaged 9+ rebounds per game over a two-year period and was also very effective on the boards in Europe.
He will also need to be a blunt defender. Moneke can effectively guard from one to four, although some may be too fast for him. He would probably never be on the court without being one of the top five options to score in the Kings lineup with him. However, to make his record worth it, it must be a reliable option when calling his number.
This season is the most important year for basketball in Monkey’s life. He won’t have to compete for the Rookie of the Year award, but he will have to compete with the other players on the Kings List and show that he’s more valuable than them if he wants to stay in the NBA.