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Zamalek strengthen BAL roster


EGYPTIAN basketball club Zamalek has added four talented players to their roster ahead of the inaugural Basketball Africa League (BAL) season.

Zamalek have acquired a pivot in Chinemelu Elonu – who stands tall at 6’10” (2.08) meters. Elonu is an American and Nigerian Citizen who last played in the Puerto Rican BSN league for Capitanes de Arecibo. 

In 13 games the power forward averaged 14.5 points per game (ppg), 9.6 rebounds per game (rpg), 1.4 assists per game (apg), and 1.5 blocks per game (bpg). Elonu won the BSN Championship with Capitanes de Arecibo in 2018. 


Elonu, drafted 59th by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009, is a seasoned basketball player in his 13th year as a professional. The Texas A&M University product has competed in six (China, France, Greece, Spain, Italy, and Turkey) different countries around the world. 

Additionally, Micheal Fakuade has signed for the Superleague competitors. The 6’7” (201cm) Forward last played in Poland where he averaged 11.6ppg, 6.4 rbg, and 1.7 apg in 27 appearances. Fakuade played in France, representing Chalon Reims, in the season prior. Fakuade has also played professionally in Spain and Germany.

Notably, Ivorian point guard Souleyman Diabate has joined the Eypgtian outfit. Diabate is a talented player who competed in the National Basketball Association (NBA) Summer League in 2016. The 6 foot guard most recently played in the French ProB league for Fos-Provence. In 18 season appearances he nabbed 7.7 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.7 steals per game (spg).

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Diabate represented Côte D’Ivoire at the African Basketball Championship (AfroBasket)

in 2017. Along with travelling for his nation Diabate has played in China, France, North Macedonia, and Slovakia where he won the Slovakian League Championship title in 2018.


Zamalek has amassed an experienced and consistent group of recruits to build on their successful16 games, at the time of writing, in the 2021 season. The Egyptian club has won 13 games and lost 3 in the Egyptian superleague. The team has now acquired the total number of non-local players, with the earlier inclusion of Walter Hodge, available at four.

Below are the 11 teams Zamalek will battle with in the inaugural BAL. The teams tipping-off are: Ferroviario de Maputo (Mozambique), GNBC (Madagascar), Rivers Hoopers (Nigeria), Petro de Luanda (Angola), AS Douanes (Senegal), AS Police (Mali), FAP (Cameroon), Union Sportive Monastir (Tunisia), AS Sale (Morocco), GSP (Algeria), and Patriots (Rwanda).

By The African Mirror