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How Angola’s “Mop Guy” is changing the face of basketball
LUANDA (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers) – At first sight, Limpa Chao Toy comes off as a comedian of sorts but with 19 years of experience as a basketball fanatic that loves to mop the floor during games, you quickly start to take him seriously.
That he does it with so much determination combined with a touch of floor show comedy, short and quick mini-dance moves display the important part of basketball - the entertainment.
“I really love mopping the floor during basketball games. On top of playing my part in protecting players from getting injured, I also love the atmosphere and how the crowd is always receptive of me.” – Toy
He does this as a full time job and a profession that has moulded his life and earns him a decent salary to take care of him and his family in the world's most expensive city, the Angolan capital.
At the age of 41, Toy has seen it all and at the just concluded FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers Group C First Phase tournament in the Angolan capital, he became a talking point for not just the players but also for the fans who clapped for him every time he came out to clean the floor.
Toy, who does this as a full-time job that pays his bills, has big dreams and among them is going to the FIBA Basketball World Cup as well as an NBA game.
He told FIBA.basketball in an exclusive interview that, "I have big dreams and if only I got a chance to go to the big stage say to the FIBA Basketball World Cup or an NBA game, I would be the happiest person in the world."
“I really love mopping the floor during basketball games. On top of protecting players from getting injured, I also love the atmosphere and how the crowd is always receptive to me."
In 2011, Toy was invited to Portugal to showcase his stylish mopping turned fancy-mopping against Angola and to this date, a big grin fills his face as he reminisces the experience.
"That trip to Lisbon changed the way I look at what I do because it has changed my life in more ways than one. I have met people from different countries including players that are revered world over," he states.
"Basketball is a beautiful game. It brings people from different backgrounds together and even when I meet our opponents, in the spirit of sportsmanship, I feel a duty to do my part even if it means pulling up an opponent from the floor or simply smiling."
However, it is not all rosy and fancy for Toy. He admits that he faces a challenge in his line of work and he must stay focused and alert during the game.
"Whenever I am called upon by the referees and players, I have to be quick in cleaning and make sure that the floor is perfect before I exit the court and this is a matter of seconds. I have to be consistent."
With the new FIBA competition system, Toy is excited that Angola will play on home court more often after waiting a decade to do so last November.