Mwanza shoots for the stars

MELISSA MWANZA is probably still miles away from a call up by a WNBA team.

She is still far from playing ball at iconic arenas like the Madison Square Garden, The Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the Target Centre.

After all she is only 14.

However, what Mwanza has going on for her is abundant talent and most importantly the opportunity of a lifetime.

Mwanza, a Form Two student at Girls High School in Harare, will today leave for a 40-day basketball camp in South Africa; one that culminates with an explosive one-off clash against a Team World select side in the United States of America.

The trip is sponsored by the National Basketball Association (NBA). Mwanza’s mother, like most mothers out there, simply wants the best possible life for her daughter, but refuses to dream beyond the camp.

“Lisa is the only child I have and as a mother, and more importantly a single parent, one wants the best possible life for their child,” said Annah Mwanza.

“Listen, I am well aware that competition will be stiff and she might not actually make the final team that is due to travel to the United States, but the experience, exposure and skills she will pick up there will be invaluable.

“Who knows, it might actually open up more doors for her and her career.”

The Mwanzas rose to prominence a fortnight when Annah took to social media asking for assistance for her daughter to travel for the camp.

The dream appeared to be going up in smoke until the NBA stepped in. “We needed roughly US$2000, for the trip and camp,” said Mellissa’s mother.

“I am a student at a teacher’s college and do not have that kind of money lying around, hence the plea.

“I was struggling to raise the required amount up until I received a call from the NBA who said they would fund the entire trip.”

With her trip confirmed Mellissa wants to make the most of this chance.

“I was really relieved and happy when my mum told me that the NBA would fund my trip.

“She is not only my mother, but my best friend and I do like to see her stressed. As I go for the camp I will never forget what this means to us,” she said.

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