By Busi Vilakazi
From fun to superstar – that is the story of professional wheelchair basketball player, Daniel Nyuke.
“The first time I sat in a wheelchair, I was 13 years old. I just fooled around when I played wheelchair basketball. I never thought of playing basketball professionally.
“People kept on telling me I have the skills to become a good basketball player,” said Daniel.
The Zimbabwe-born player said he was spotted playing basketball by a missionary at his school and was asked to play for the Zimbabwe Zebras.
Scouts soon noticed his talent and the offers started coming in.
“My talent and passion for wheelchair basketball, as well as hard work, brought me to South Africa, ” said Daniel.
In 2008 Daniel moved to South Africa and joined Ricoh Pumas.
He currently plays for Diesel Electric Service Eagles who are based at the Mandeville Indoor Sport Centre in Bez Valley.
As a member of the Zimbabwe national wheelchair basketball team, he also plays for his home country.
“I love the sport. Support for the sport will inspire other physically challenged youngsters to join.
“Being physically challenged does not mean you’re not able to find a different way to do what you love. I may not be able to run, but my wheelchair enables me to move and play basketball,” said Daniel.
“I would be happy to see more young people playing wheelchair basketball. It is an amazing sport. However, like any other sport, it has its challenges. These challenges should not discourage you – use them to motivate yourself to get better at what you do,” said Daniel.