The Sunday Mail
ZIMBABWEAN center Vitalis Chikoko looks set to be rewarded with contract extension by Italian outfit Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia Reggio after powering them into the play offs.
Chikoko’s contract runs until the end of the 2014/15 season but there are indications that Grisslin, who began their best of seven semi-final clash against Umana Venezia last night, will offer him a longer contract.
“Vitalis is currently doing well in Italy with his team now in the semi-final stages of the play-offs.
“As for his contract situation, he is set to sign with the team through to the 2015/2016 season but both sides have a buyout option for that season.
“His ultimate goal remains the NBA and that is why the buy-out clause has been put in place,” said a source in the player’s camp.
The 24-year-old Chikoko could not be drawn into commenting about his contract situation.However, he opened up on life in Italy and his availability for Zimbabwe’s Afro-Basket Championships campaign later this year.
“My season has been very good so far and I have settled smoothly into life in the country and the new team,” he said.
“We had a good run-up to the regular season, winning a couple of games and managed to finish third to qualify for the play-offs.
“I am playing decent minutes, getting good game time and feeling great with no injuries to worry about.
“As for the Afro-Baskets, I am definitely coming and intend to play to the best of my abilities to help the team win,” he said.Zimbabwe coach Ellery Pinkerton revealed Chikoko will be excused from some of the team’s camps because of his busy schedule.
“Vitalis, if fit, can come straight for the championships without reporting for our pre tournament camps because we know what he can offer and are closely following his games in Italy.
“Having him for the championships will be a big boost,” said Pinkerton.