Antonio Van-Dunem of Angola is once again the talk of the basketball world after the super energetic mop boy entertained fans, players and even the referees during this past weekend’s FIBA World Cup Qualifiers in Africa.
Players take a lot of tumbles on the court and it is up to the mop boys like Van-Dunem to take care of the sweat and other fluids that drip onto the floor.
Better known as Toy Limpa Chão, a shorthand for his first name of Antonio and Limpa Chão meaning “the Mop Guy," he started his floor-cleaning career in 1998 with Luanda-based club ASA, prior to working with Primeiro de Agosto during the 2022 FIBA Africa Champions Cup.
Ranging from doing flips and rolls prior to and after cleaning the floor to even dancing alongside the cheerleaders, Van-Dunem has become a major fixture at basketball events in Africa.
Speaking on the official FIBA YouTube channel, Van-Dunem told them that his job is to entertain fans while keeping his true adversary, the court floor, from potentially injuring the players and the referees.
“With my agility, up and down the court, not even the referee notices that I’m there. He is surprised when he sees the court dry again,” the 43-year-old Van-Dunem jokingly remarked regarding his floor-cleaning skills.
When asked about how he came up with his moves and energetic personality, Van-Dunem noticed that fans in the arena get bored during the lull in the action on the court and decided to spice things up by interacting with them through his impressive athleticism.
Van-Dunem has become well-loved by the players themselves, even posting for a photo with Ivory Coast’s Guy Edi during the FIBA Basketball 2023 African Qualifiers.
“In the future, my plan is to run my own cleaning company. Also, to teach some young men to keep my work alive and to contribute to mitigating crime in Angola,” he said.
Check out Van-Dunem’s story in the feature by FIBA below.