After a successful run with the Pitt Panthers that included two wins in the NCAA Tournament, a trip to the collegiate dunk contest in Houston, and various awards to show for it, Nike Sibande has found a new home.
Sibande is joining Kataja Basket, a Finnish international basketball team in the top league “Korisliga.” Based in Finland, home to forward Federiko Federiko, Kataja Basket was founded in 1949 and is the basketball section of the club Joensuun Kataja.
He’s here to 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐝𝐨 𝐢𝐭… 𝐍𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐒𝐢𝐛𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐞 täydentää amerikkalaisnelikkomme! 📃🖋️
Welcome to Kataja Community @sibande_nike 💙🤍
— Kataja Basket (@KatajaBasket) August 21, 2023
The team has played 28 seasons in the Finnish top league, including multiple stints. The team is in its longest run of play in the league, being a member since 2001 after initially being a part of it from 1969-70. They won the Finnish Cup championship last season, and Sibande brings prior success from his Pitt days in an attempt to add on.
Sibande’s most recent time on the court came in the 2023 NBA Summer League with the Dallas Mavericks and a Pitt “Zoo Crew” alumni member in The Basketball Tournament (TBT).
During his redshirt-senor season, Sibande averaged 8.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game off the bench en route to a runaway vote to win ACC Sixth Man of the Year.
One more shoutout for our guy @sibande_nike
(📸: Steve Woltmann/Intersport) pic.twitter.com/e0rB44cv26
— Pitt Basketball (@Pitt_MBB) March 31, 2023
Sibande totaled over 1,500 points and 500 rebounds in his career spanning three years at Miami (Ohio) and three at Pitt, one season being taken away after a torn ACL in exhibition action prior to 2021-22. He shot 43% from the floor during the previous season in 36 games (two starts) and averaged 22.5 minutes per contest. In two seasons of work in a Pitt uniform, Sibande totaled 401 points and 190 rebounds in 50 appearances. The 6-foot-4 Indianapolis native did significant damage at Miami (Ohio), averaging 15.1 points and 4.3 rebounds during the 2017-18 campaign to win MAC Freshman of the Year.
He is the last of Pitt’s core NCAA Tournament team to join an overseas club. Sibande joins Greg Elliott (Denmark), Jamarius Burton (Belgium), and Nelly Cummings (Cyprus) as Pitt alums representing their former programs around the world.