Risto engineering for success on the court

EVARISTO Pasipamire or simply ‘Risto’ is known for his ferocious dunks and athleticism on the court. The Big Tip Off caught up with him for a Q&A interview to find out more about his basketball journey.

Q: When did your love for basketball begin?

A: I started playing basketball right after high school in 2014 with the Cameo Basketball Club in Zimbabwe. I was actually a volleyball player in secondary school. 

Q: Who were the role players in your development as a player?

A: Eric Banda and Tawanda Chitsinde. These were the guys who taught me the fundamentals and gave me a better understanding of the game.

Q: You are known for explosive dunks; do you remember the first time you dunked?

A: The first time I dunked was in 2015. I was playing for Cameo in a match against JBC … That was one of the derbies in the Zimbabwe league. I enjoyed the love I got and how the fans went crazy.

Secondary Pic
Everisto Pasipamire has aspirations for playing in the BAL and pursuing a career in Europe. Pictures: THE BTO

Q: What was your favourite in-game dunk? Where was it and why does it stand out for you?

A: My best dunk came during the 2018 USSA men’s final, when my team, Wits took on VUT: the hype, the mixed emotions at that moment from myself, my teammates and the fans. It’s hard to explain. It was a great game. We thought we were going to win at that point, but unfortunately, we lost that final.

Q: Apart from dunking, can you point out, which other aspects of your game are strong?

A: I am athletic. I can run down the floor better than some guys my size. I pass the ball well and I have a good shooting percentage, which I’ve been working on for the past few years.

Q: Can you reflect on the first time you received your first senior Zimbabwe national team call-up? And what did that call-up mean to you?

A: My national team breakthrough came in 2015 during the Afrobasket qualifiers in Bulawayo, where I helped Zimbabwe to qualify for its first tournament. As a rookie, I had so many minutes and made crucial plays. Although my selection was criticised by many, I didn’t care! I had to do what I had to do and things went well.

Q: Which is the toughest team you played against internationally? And why?

A: The toughest team I have faced was Egypt in 2015. They were ahead of us by far, in terms of talent, and decision-making and most of their guys were professionals.

Q: Who is the toughest player you have faced internationally and locally? And why?

A: It has to be Tsakani Ngobeni. I played against him in the 2015 and 2017 Afrobasket qualifiers. His inside and outside game differentiate him from many and he is very hard to guard.

Q: Who is your favourite teammate locally or internationally? And why?

A: Tatenda Maturure aka “Dummy”. He’s the most naturally talented athlete I’ve seen in my career and delivers when you need sh** to be done.

Q: Who is your all-time favourite player? And why?

A: Lebron James. His skill, athleticism and size are a great combination. And purely on what he has done for the game of basketball on and off the court. 

Q: You have also furthered your basketball career here in South Africa and played at various levels (Basketball National League, Johannesburg Basketball League and Varsity Basketball). Can you reflect on your time playing here in South Africa?

Third Picture
When he is not causing havoc in the paint Everisto Pasipamire enjoys hanging with friends.

A: Well, the goal was to always play professionally and fortunately basketball got me this far (SA). I received a scholarship from Wits University and managed to further my studies in engineering, which I am passionate about.

Q: Where do you see your basketball progressing, internationally and locally?

A: I just want to finish my studies for now, so that I can have options. When it comes to basketball, the BAL is a game changer on this continent, so it’s good to keep an eye out for that, and Europe has a good basketball scene. I am excited to explore the opportunities as they come.

Q: If you were not a basketball player what would you be doing?

A: I think I would be playing volleyball ?

Q: How have you been keeping busy during the lockdown period?

A: Well, I have been focused on my studies, working out ??, chilling, and watching movies. 

Q: Outside of basketball, who are the positive influences in your life?

A: It’s my mom who is based in Bindura, Zimbabwe. 

Q: What are your hobbies?  

A: I enjoy watching documentaries a lot and listening to music.

Q: What is your favourite quote? And why?

A: I hear my mom and friends say ‘I am special’, but I still don’t get it. Basketball and engineering will bring that out, I guess! 

Risto engineering for success on the court Read More »