Besides helping his team win the University Sport South Africa basketball title this year, University of Johannesburg student Lance Chikore has also shown his ability in the academic field.
The structural engineering master’s student has been asked to deliver a paper at an international seminar in Cape Town next month, making 2019 a year to remember.
The recognition he has received has removed some of the pain he felt on the court when UJ were ousted in the USSA basketball semifinals for four straight years.
“I started playing for the UJ first team in 2015 when I was in my first year,” said the 24-year-old, who grew up in Zimbabwe.
“There were some heart-breaking moments but this year has been fantastic after we won all our games at USSA to be crowned champions.”
On the academic front, Chikore completed his honours in civil engineering last year and is now in the first year of a master’s structural engineering course at UJ.
This has led to an invitation to present a paper at the seventh International Conference on Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Computation at UCT from September 2 to 4.
“The main aim for my project is to introduce the use of a special type of glue called Epoxy in large-scale construction of buildings which are made of steel,” said Chikore.
“This is to be done so that in the near future the construction industry will replace the common jointing materials like welding, bolting and riveting with this glue.
“I am honoured and very excited about this as it as an opportunity to showcase my capabilities to the world.”
The UJ star said his achievements meant had to make some sacrifices.
“It is not easy to be a student-athlete but because of my love of the game I had to make sure I created enough time for basketball,” he added.
“Personally, for me to keep on track I had to cut down on some other activities like going out on a regular basis and to minimise the number of hours of sleep to an average of five or six, depending on my workload and to make sure the brain stayed healthy.
“I feel that basketball is life-related. It helps you to see how you can make certain decisions in certain situations and how to react when you have emotional overload.”
His message to young students was to forge their own path in the world.
“Never let anyone tell that ‘you cannot do it’ or that ‘certain people have tried it and failed’.
“Just keep on pushing until you achieve your goal. The process is always hard but the fruits taste so nice that you will forget the struggle you went through to get what you wanted.”