Chimezie Metu Impresses During FIBA World Cup African Qualifiers
Throughout the FIBA World Cup African Qualifiers, one thing became clearer with each passing contest:
Chimezie Metu brought it every game.
During Sunday’s narrow 70-67 loss to Angola, the Sacramento Kings forward put the finishing touches on an impressive run at the qualifiers by scoring 17 points (five-of-six shooting from the field) to go along with a team-high 10 rebounds and two steals over 37 minutes.
MEZIE 💪🏿💪🏿💪🏿💪🏿💪🏿 pic.twitter.com/TS95aalfct
— D’Tigers | Nigeria Basketball (@NigeriaBasket) August 28, 2022
Metu has been a double-double machine for Nigeria, having scored at least 10 points and pulling down 10 rebounds or more in four of his five appearances. The 25-year-old averaged 16.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 44 percent from the field and 31 percent from beyond the three-point arc.
Over five appearances, Metu ranked atop the leaderboards in several categories, including points per game (second), rebounds per game (third), efficiency (third), and minutes per game (fifth).
Seeing Metu thrive in FIBA play is encouraging to see as the forward will look to carve out a role in new Kings head coach–and current head coach of the Nigerian Olympic team–Mike Brown’s rotation during the 2022-23 season.
Metu enjoyed a career-year last season with Sacramento, averaging career-highs in points per game (8.9), rebounds per game (5.6), assists per game (1.0), and steals per game (0.9) over 60 games (20 starts).
The 6’9 forward’s versatility as a player that can be deployed at both forward positions and even the center spot in a pinch could come in handy for a Kings team that is currently thin at the backup forward positions heading into training camp.
Sacramento is set to have players and coaches report to Golden 1 Center for camp in less than four weeks as the Kings will look to put a season together that can finally bring an NBA-record 16-year postseason drought to an end.