DRIVEN BY PASSION . . . Warren Tegama has  high hopes of making  it big in basketball

DRIVEN BY PASSION . . . Warren Tegama has
high hopes of making
it big in basketball

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Brighton Zhawi – Sports Reporter

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WARREN TEGAMA is bossing the Harare Basketball League.

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The 21-year-old guard has sunk 215 points in 10 games as his Mufakose Hustlerz fight for the HBL title.

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Apart from finding the basket with ease, Tegama has chipped in with 27 steals, 20 defensive rebounds and 12 offensive rebounds.

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And the fact that he is doing it all for a Mufakose-based team delights the lad who was born and raised in the high-density suburb.

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“The feeling of playing for a team in Mufakose is so amazing; I know my boys well and spend a lot of time with them. We have got that bond on and off the court.

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“We have played well as a team this season. Individually, I contribute, I shoot, drive . . . I basically do everything, but all that we have achieved this season is through hard work.

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“We are playing a very good game, amazing basketball,” said Tegama, whose team is lying third on the log with four rounds of matches remaining.

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Tegama made his league debut as an 18-year-old teenager and has over the years grown into an all round player who looks destined for a professional league.

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“This is my fourth season in the HBL and all the hard work is paying off. I am going to keep working and pushing hard for me to stay at the top.

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“I am now really quick. I realised early on that I am short, as you know basketball is for tall guys; so, I use my speed,” said Tegama

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The former Prince Edward Panthers player is coming from a twos-game suspension for “bad court behaviour” and the question among many a basketball fan is: is the lad getting big-headed already?

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The answer is something else!

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“Every good player will tend to have a big head,” reckons Tegama, who got suspended for assaulting an opponent.

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“I am coming from a two-game suspension; something happened, but I got over it. It was just one of those things that happen in a game . . . it got to my head and I reacted.

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“My head is back in the game now.”

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Despite his impressive stats, the youngster claims this has been one of his toughest seasons.

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“This season has been the toughest. At the beginning we beat teams that always defeated us and we were number one on the log for the entire first half of the season, but pressure started mounting on us,” said Tegama, who is also a Diesel Plant fitting student at Harare Polytechnic.

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Football was Tegama’s first love, but staying close to a basketball court wooed him.

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“I used to love soccer a lot, but fell in love with basketball when I started visiting the Area A Court with some friends every day after school.

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“I tried the game and realised I was good at it and I dropped soccer,” disclosed the Hustlerz utility man.

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“I always wanted to play in the HBA league, but together with my friends we sat down and realised that it was almost impossible to play for those big teams like Cameo and JBC as a rookie and we decided to form our own team, Mufakose Hustlerz.

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“We started in the B league, lost games and played for three seasons before graduating into the A league in 2009. We owe a lot to guys like Bradley Mungofa and Fungai Matsindikwa; they groomed us”

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Passion drives the Hustlerz in the face of serious funding challenges.

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“It hasn’t been easy; we need bus fare to and fro games, we need to buy sneakers and these are expensive. We have passion; we put our resources into basketball for the love of the sport,” said Tagama

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The basketball starlet dreams of turning professional one day and declares that he will never leave the Hustlers for any local team

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“Hustlerz for life, son; that’s how we flow,” he said as a parting shot.