Vraag en antwoord met Matt Bauscher (ex-speler van Aris Leeuwarden, Donar en EiffelTowers)

Matt Bauscher speelde in Nederland voor Aris Leeuwarden (2008-2009), Donar (2009-2010 en 2010-2011) en EiffelTowers (2012-2013) en ik heb hem een aantal vragen gesteld. Hieronder staan zijn antwoorden.

Vraag: How is your life now (family, job etc)?
Antwoord: Life is going very well. I’m 33 years old now, Lindsay and I celebrated this summer our 5th year anniversary. Our daughter Nyia Grace Bauscher is our world- she’s 3.5 years old now. We are expecting our second child January of 2019!

Vraag: You played for Boise State, how do you look back at that period?
Antwoord: Loved every moment of Boise State. I was tested mentally and physically in a way I didn’t think was possible. It was a battle each day, to get better and try to improve with a demanding school schedule. I arrived as the worst player on the team and left a team captain, won the teams most inspirational player award 3 years in a row and a conference championship.

Vraag: Your first club after college was Aris Leeuwarden, after that you played two seasons for Donar and the last club in The Netherlands was EiffelTowers. What are your memories about that period?
Antwoord: The Netherlands will always hold a special place in my heart- I lived there for 4 of my 6 years overseas there. Leeuwarden was special because it was my first time playing in Europe, living in Europe. That first morning I woke up in Leeuwarden I felt like I was so far from Boise. I had a feeling this was going to be a long long year…which it turned out to be an amazing experience.They were so generous to me- treating me like family. The league that 2008-2009 year was the best by far of any years in Holland I experienced. Groningen was like a dream- our team was like family. We were the hardest working team in Holland, the most talented and loved each other as brothers. We embraced the Donar Community and I enjoyed experiencing the city, the fans, the club. To win the championship, cup- play in Euroleague was so unique and a wonderful opportunity. It was disappointing they couldn’t keep our team together after that 2011 year. Coach Marco was great to play for- we had the work ethic that was perfect for his hard nosed style. Den Bosch- Coach Korner, Coach Sam Jones- talk about two of the greatest, classiest coaches you could ask for. I bonded with the coaches, players and fans very well down south. It was fun to win the Dutch Cup and live in a different part of the country.

Vraag: What was personally your hightlight in these years?
Antwoord: It was the traveling- exploring all of the The Netherlands and 14 other countries. Being from Boise I had never been to Europe- I was fascinated with how beautiful everything was. I will always have wonderful memories of the 6 years playing basketball- BBL in Germany, leading the league in scoring, MVPs but winning the championships and celebrating with the fans was the ultimate highlight.

Vraag: Do you still have contact with some former players in The Netherlands?
Antwoord: I still keep in contact with some of them- not as much as I would like. Everyone seems to be doing great in the next chapter with a few of the guys still playing.

Vraag: Is there basketball in your life after you retired (recreation, watching games etc)?
Antwoord: I still watch basketball and play every once in awhile. I won a basketball tournament lately with Jason Ellis- that was a lot of fun. I am thrilled to be able to coach my children one day and teach them all the lessons about basketball that I have learned.

Vraag: Do you want to say something to the fans of Leeuwarden, Donar and Den Bosch?
Antwoord: I really miss you guys. Please stay in touch! Lindsay and I are going to come visit Holland in a few years with our kids and show them where we lived and our favorite Holland spots!

Vraag en antwoord met Jannes Stokroos, de voorzitter van Donar

Jannes Stokroos is de voorzitter van Donar en ik heb hem een aantal vragen gesteld. Hieronder staan de vragen en de antwoorden.

Vraag: Het zeer succesvolle seizoen van Donar is eind mei geëindigd, maar dat betekent geen rust voor de voorzitter, bestuursleden etc. Kan je in het kort uitleggen wat er allemaal bij komt kijken voor jou, bestuur etc?
Antwoord: Nou eigenlijk ging direct na het kampioensfeest de knop al weer om. Er moeten vele zaken afgewikkeld worden met alle spelers die naar huis gaan in Nl of Amerika. Denk aan tickets, vervoer, lease-auto’s, woningen etc. Daarnaast beginnen dan Martin en Erik gelijk met de eerste verkenningen en besprekingen over het team voor het komende seizoen. Zowel in het bestuur als op het managementbureau moeten alle (administratieve) zaken worden afgehandeld en verwerkt van het afgelopen seizoen en vertaald worden naar de jaarrekening die er moet komen maar tegelijkertijd moet de begroting 2018/2019 opgesteld worden en goedgekeurd door de Raad van Toezicht. Vele convenanten met partners en sponsorcontracten moeten worden verlengd, BBC lidmaatschappen, kaartverkoop publieke tribune (en indeling) regelen, Start Up assist weer nieuwe partners en leden werven, de twee wedstrijden van het MNT faciliteren en afwikkelen, bestuursvergaderingen bijwonen van de DBL, nieuwe kledingsponsor Macron en zo kan ik nog wel een tijdje doorgaan………………. kortom we zijn de hele week toch druk en vergaderen iedere week op de vrijdagochtend ook in de “rustige” zomerweken.

Vraag: Hoe kijk je terug op het afgelopen seizoen van Donar en wat is jouw meest trotse moment?
Antwoord: Af en toe knijp ik mijzelf nog wel eens in mijn wang hoor !! Een sportief gezien GEWELDIG seizoen waarbij het team ruim zeventig wedstrijden heeft gespeeld met alle reisuren erbij ook een enorme belasting voor de spelers, de coaches en de staf. MAAR zelden of nooit een wanklank gehoord en dat is toch wel uniek en een mindset die mij erg aanspreekt in het basketbal. De belasting voor de organisatie en de vrijwilligers was dus ook enorm maar daar maken wij bij Donar denk ik het verschil: vanuit het #together zet iedereen de schouders eronder en zorgen wij ervoor dat we het op tijd allemaal geregeld hebben. Daar ben ik het meest trots op en wil nogmaals alle vrijwilligers hier in het zonnetje zetten en bedanken !!
Sportief gezien de gewonnen thuiswedstrijd tegen Reyer Venezia. Iedereen had mij voor gek verklaart als ik voorafgaand aan het seizoen zou hebben gezegd dat wij als Donar een wedstrijd tegen de kampioen van Italië zouden gaan winnen. Maar het team ontwikkelde zich geweldig door een ander type basketbal te spelen dan de tegenstander gewend was en in combinatie met het gevoel van “thuis onverslaanbaar” in een kolkend Martini Plaza, veroorzaakt door de steun van ons geweldige publiek, wisten we te winnen !! Toen ik tijdens de wedstrijd even op het balkon dit spektakel aanschouwde, de 4350 in het blauw en wit gehulde supporters zag dansen, springen, aanmoedigen en juichen………………. dan springen de tranen spontaan in mijn ogen en ben ik super trots dat ik voorzitter mag zijn van deze geweldige club en zijn alle uren die we erin steken vergeten.

Vraag: Aan de top komen is gemakkelijker dan in de top te blijven, zeker Europees. Wat moet er de komende jaren op en naast het veld gebeuren om Europees te blijven scoren? En kan dat zonder hoofdsponsor?
Antwoord: Nou aan de top komen is ook niet gemakkelijk hoor want daar is een gezonde langjarige financiële basis voor nodig en een goede organisatie. De andere clubs in de DBL vinden het vast niet makkelijk om aan de top te komen denk ik. Ik denk dat de huidige kracht van Donar mede uit noodzaak is ontstaan toen ruim drie jaar geleden de hoofdsponsor stopte. De uitdaging die er toen ontstond maakte dat het toenmalige bestuur vanuit een visiedocument (zie website) een aangepaste koers moest uitzetten die moest leiden tot succes. Die visie hebben we de laatste jaren verder vorm gegeven waardoor ik in volle overtuiging kan zeggen dat Donar financieel een gezonde club is met een uitstekend functionerende organisatie. De pieken en dalen door het wel of niet hebben van een hoofdsponsor en de bijbehorende stress hebben we omgezet door te investeren in groei in BBC-leden, partners en sponsoren en groei van toeschouwers. Circa de helft van onze begroting bestaat tegenwoordig uit inkomsten uit de BBC en seizoenkaarthouders. Dat is onze hoofdsponsor.
Wij willen graag verder bouwen aan de versterking van het team en de faciliteiten die hiervoor nodig zijn. We hebben dit jaar de stap gemaakt naar 10 spelers aan gevuld met twee zeer talentvolle jeugdspelers. We proberen spelers ook langer vast te leggen (zie nu ook weer Shane Hammink) zodat we met een vaste basiskern, die weet hoe coach wil spelen, spelers er bij zoeken en minder hoeven in te passen. We gaan het management bureau verder versterken en willen de bouw van een nieuwe Topsporthal op de agenda krijgen bij de gemeentelijke verkiezingen die er aan komen.

Vraag: Donar wil elk jaar groeien en ook Europees vooruit gaan. Qua voorbereiding is het ook dit jaar een zeer korte periode, zeker ten opzichte van vele andere Europese clubs, is dat een puur financieel verhaal?
Antwoord: Ik denk dat de subtop in Europa niet veel eerder met de voorbereidingen begint hoor. Onze spelers trainen ook in de zomermaanden voor zichzelf door en komen niet vanuit een “nul-situatie” op de eerste training. Zoals ook al boven gezegd proberen we juist door spelers langer vast te leggen te voorkomen dat het type spel dat wij spelen, welke aanval- en verdedigingspatronen wij spelen aan twaalf nieuwe spelers moeten gaan uitleggen en gaan trainen. Maar het is inderdaad ook een financiële keuze die er gemaakt wordt. Wij kiezen momenteel voor een groei in kwaliteit en een grotere rotatie van het team.

Vraag: de Dutch Basketball League zit ook in de groei, wat moet er gebeuren om een nog betere competitie te krijgen?
Antwoord: Gelukkig zien we weer een groei in het aantal clubs. Het is vooral aan de andere clubs om zich te ontwikkelen in alle facetten denk ik. Zorg dat een avondje basketbal sponsoren en publiek trekt en versterk de organisatie. Maar ook wij weten dat dit een proces is van lange adem en volhouden en uiteindelijk gaat leiden tot een hoger niveau in de DBL. Mooi is dat dit seizoen ook New Heroes en ZZ Leiden zich hebben ingeschreven voor Europa. Dat kan maken dat we als NL meer aanzien en invloed kunnen krijgen op plaatsing in de diverse FIBA kwalificaties. Succes en extra exposure leidt altijd tot groei in sport.

Vraag: waar wil Donar over 5 jaar staan in Nederland en in Europa?
Antwoord: In Nl willen we, net als nu, structureel in de finales staan van de drie te behalen prijzen (Supercup, Nationale Beker en het Landskampioenschap). Europees is de droom en ambitie om in de Champions League te spelen.

Vraag: wil je nog iets tegen de fans zeggen?
Antwoord: Met jullie ondersteuning als zesde man hebben jullie bewezen dat we soms “onmogelijke” prestaties kunnen behalen. Zonder Donar geen fans en zonder fans geen Donar. Vanaf de eerste kwalificatie wedstrijd heeft het team jullie keihard nodig om de drie voorrondes door te komen, dus laten we de sfeer en entourage die we bij de laatste wedstrijd tegen Reyer Venezia als standaard neerzetten vanaf de eerste kwalificatiewedstrijd en met een “sold out” Martini Plaza laten zien hoe uniek Groningen is als basketbal stad in Europa.

Jordy Kuiper: “het is nog steeds een droom om ooit het Donar tenue aan te mogen doen”

Jordy Kuiper uit Groningen speelde de afgelopen jaren in de USA bij UNC Greensboro en ik heb hem een aantal vragen gesteld. Zijn antwoorden staan hieronder.

Vraag: bij welke vereniging ben je begonnen met basketballen?
Antwoord: ik ben begonnen bij Celeritas Donar, in Vinkhuizen bij de Mini’s (U12) met coach Martin de Vries!

Vraag: de afgelopen jaren speelde je op college op UNC Greensboro. Hoe kijk je terug op deze periode en wat waren de hoogtepunten?
Antwoord: dat was de mooiste tijd van mijn leven, vooral qua basketbal. Ik heb echt iets moois kunnen opbouwen bij UNCG en heb mijn college carrière mogen afsluiten als captain van een team dat Conference Champion werd en naar het grote NCAA Toernooi mocht voor de eerste keer in 17 jaar. Daarnaast is de band die je met de mensen daar opbouwd natuurlijk fantastisch en die vriendschappen gaan draag ik voor de rest van je leven met me mee.

Vraag: wat heb je geleerd (kan basketballtechnisch zijn maar ook op menselijke vlak) tijdens je periode in de USA?
Antwoord: ik heb daar natuurlijk 5 jaar gezeten, van mijn 17de t/m 23ste jaar. Ik kwam daar binnen als een jong jochie en ga daar nu weg als een man, en heb ontzettend veel geleerd; zowel basketbaltechnisch en als mens. Ik ben een stuk sterker geworden doordat ik tegen top teams en spelers heb mogen spelen en dat heeft mij erg verrijkt als speler.

Vraag: wat zijn je sterke punten als basketballer en wat zou je nog willen verbeteren?
Antwoord: ik ben een leider, een sterke communicator/verdediger en daarnaast aanvallend veelzijdig omdat ik niet alleen back-to-the basket kan scoren maar ook een goed driepuntsschot heb. Ik wil graag mijn handles verbeteren om zo nog meer te kunnen creeëren voor mezelf en mijn teammates.

Vraag: heb jij als “stadjer” Donar ook goed gevolgd in de USA?
Antwoord: natuurlijk! Ik zat als een klein jochie al op de houten tribunes in plaza, en ben een Donar fan in hart en nieren. Tijdens het seizoen (en het kampioensschap) in 2003 deed ik altijd Travis Reed na tijdens het schieten op de basket in mijn achtertuin en ik heb tijdens mijn tijd als jeugdspeler ook veel kunnen leren van gasten zoals Matt Haryasz, Matt Bauscher & Jason Ellis.

Vraag: had je na college graag bij Donar willen spelen of zat dat om een reden er niet in?
Antwoord: ik wil absoluut bij Donar spelen, maar mijn ambitie en focus ligt nu eerst bij het kijken waar mijn internationale basketbalavontuur naar toe kan gaan. Ik heb een mooi basketbal CV op kunnen bouwen in Amerika en wil graag zien hoe ver ik daar mee kan komen. Maar het is nog steeds een droom om ooit het Donar tenue aan te mogen doen.

Vraag: hoe ziet jouw basketballtoekomst er uit en waar hoop je op voor komend seizoen qua land/team?
Antwoord: de onderhandelingen gaan erg goed met clubs door heel Europa. Het is nu een kwestie van rustig de tijd nemen om te kijken welke situatie/aanbieding op dit moment het beste bij mij past. Er zijn vele factoren waar je rekening mee moet houden maar er is meer dan genoeg interesse dus dat gaat helemaal goed komen!

Ex-Donar coach Ivica Skelin: “I would like to work abroad”

Mijn laatste interview met ex-Donar coach Ivica Skelin was van 8 augustus 2017, dus werd het tijd om contact te zoeken en hem een aantal vragen te stellen. Zijn antwoorden staan hieronder.

Vraag: how are you now and do you enjoy the time in Croatia?
Antwoord: for the moment I’m in Split, Croatia and enjoying my vacation. This is the first summer since 2015 that I have a break. Last two summers I have been with NT on Olympics and European Championship.

Vraag: in september 2017 you became head coach of the national team of Croatia and that period ended in March 2018. How do you look back at that period?
Antwoord: last season I was very busy and I have been coaching parallel NT and Split. It was not easy with NT because our best players could not participate and we had some important players injured. Results were not as we used to have and in that situation coach has his responsability.

Vraag: after Donar you became head coach of KK Split for 3 seasons. Your team had not the biggest budget, but satisfied with the results and the performances of the team?
Antwoord: a few months before I became coach of Split, team had avoided relegation to second division. First season we have finished sixth and next two seasons we lost in semi final against Cedevita. We made huge progress and I have to say thanks to the organization and players for the wonderful three seasons.

Vraag: what was your personal highlight with KK Split over the 3 seasons?
Antwoord: the fact that we succeeded to win Cedevita,Cibona and Zadar is something that makes me proud.

Vraag: so far I know you don’t have a coach job for the coming season. What are your plans and do you prefer coach job in Croatia or other country?
Antwoord: I would like to work abroad.

Vraag: do you still follow Donar and was it a surprise for you that Donar played in the semi-final of the FIBA Europe Cup?
Antwoord: I did not have time to watch Donar last season but I have been following their results. Compliments for the players, coaches, staff …I think that they made more than anybody expected. They have played against great teams and they proved their quality.

Vraag: do you want to say something to the fans of Donar?
Antwoord:I wish them a great season, lot of success and trophies.

Vraag en antwoord met Grant Sitton, de nieuwe Amerikaan van Donar

Gisteren contracteerde Donar de Amerikaanse forward Grant Sitton. Ik heb hem een aantal vragen gesteld en hieronder staan zijn antwoorden.

Vraag: can you describe in short something about your life (birthday, hometown, family etc)?
Antwoord: I’m from Brush Prairie WA.

Vraag: you played college for Clackamas CC and University of Victoria, how do you look back at these years?
Antwoord: I have a lot of good memories and even better friendships from my college days.

Vraag: the first year outside USA is mostly a hard time for a basketballplayer. Your first year in Europe was in Slovakia, how was that period?
Antwoord: it was hard being away from home but I had a lot of love and support from my family, teammates, and my coach to help me.

Vraag: was it difficult to learn the European style of basketball and what was the difference between playing in Canada and Slovakia?
Antwoord: Canada plays more of the European style of game than the U.S does. FIBA 3 point line and bigger key. But it is a faster past game in Europe.

Vraag: how came you in contact with Donar and why choice for Donar?
Antwoord: the team contacted me and I like the direction the team is going. It is a well known team for its success and I’m happy to be a part of it.

Vraag: before the step to play in The Netherlands, did you know something about our country?
Antwoord: I didn’t know anything about the country but everyone I have talked to about says it’s a beautiful place and I will love it.

Vraag: what will be your role in the team of Donar?
Antwoord: my role will be whatever the team needs my role to be. I have played many roles on basketball teams over the years and I’m comfortable in many spots. I’m willing to do whatever takes to help a team be successful.

Vraag: what are your expectations for these season?
Antwoord: coming in to a new team it’s hard to put any expectations, but I just take it one game at a time and try not to get ahead of myself.

Vraag: Donar will play in the qualifications rounds of the Basketball Champions League (and FIBA Europe Cup if they have no success in the BCL ). Looking forward to that European competitions?
Antwoord: yes I can’t wait I love competition. I want to compete to the best of my ability at a high level and now that I have the opportunity to do so I’m really excited.

Vraag: do you want to say something to the fans?
Antwoord: cant wait to meet you all and experience Donar basketball first hand!

Interview met Jordan Callahan, de nieuwe point guard van Donar

Onlangs tekende Jordan Callahan een contract bij Donar. Ik heb de nieuwe point guard een aantal vragen gesteld en de antwoorden staan hieronder.

Vraag:
can you describe in short something about your life (birthday, hometown, family etc)?
Antwoord: I was born 10-21-1990 in Atlanta, Georgia. I am the only child. My parents are Gregory&Vickie Callahan.

Vraag: you played college for Tulane, how do you look back at these years?
Antwoord: every year I look back I’m surprised at how long it’s been. Those were some fun days, college taught me a lot about responsibility and setting priorities in order to succeed.

Vraag: the first year outside USA is mostly a hard time for a basketballplayer. Your first year in Europe was in Poland, how was that period?
Antwoord: I still remember my first year overseas. More so than my others. Coming from Atlanta I had rarely seen snow. That year in Poland they had record low temperatures and snow banks taller than me. It was an adjustment to say the least, I knew none of the language and not many people spoke English. Luckily, most people were friendly.

Vraag: was it difficult to learn the European style of basketball and what was the difference between playing in Poland, Belgium, Germany, Russia and Bulgaria?
Antwoord: not really. For my position if you can shoot and play the pick&roll then the transition isn’t that difficult. The difference is mostly the skill level but each league has its own style of play. Germany/ Russia are a little more physical and the refs let you play. Where some leagues like Poland are more guard friendly so the games are faster paced.

Vraag: how came you in contact with Donar? Did you had more offers from other clubs and if “yes” why Donar?
Antwoord: Donar came in contact with me. And yes I had more offers but Donar really stuck out because of it previous success in Holland as well as their success in Champions League last year. Coach Braal also has had success in developing Point guards.

Vraag: before the step to play in The Netherlands, did you know something about our country?
Antwoord: unfortunately not. Hopefully during my stay here I will be able to learn more about the culture.

Vraag: what will be your role in the team of Donar?
Antwoord: point guard/ playmaker.

Vraag: what are your expectations for these season?
Antwoord: to qualify fo Champions league and take it as far as possible.

Vraag: Donar will play in the qualifications rounds of the Basketball Champions League (and FIBA Europe Cup if they have no success in the BCL ). Looking forward to that European competitions?
Antwoord: of course I look forward to getting back to European competition. I have played in both leagues (Basketball Champions League/ Fiba Europe cup) so I’m anxious to get back and make a splash.

Vraag: do you want to say something to the fans?
Antwoord: thank you for the support already. I haven’t even stepped foot in Holland and I can already feel the love!! I can’t wait to meet the fans face-to-face.

Jason Dourisseau: “as long as my body allows me to still be a contributor to my team, i want to play”

Ik heb tien vragen aan Jason Dourisseau van Donar gesteld en hieronder staan de vragen en antwoorden.

Vraag: how are you, Renate and Myliana Romée Alma now? It must be great to all of you to be back in Omaha with your family.
Antwoord: we are all doing great! Im so in love with my baby girl…shes growing like crazy and changing every week…rose is good too…shes a GREAT mother and we are loving this time in the summer we have.

Vraag: next season it will be your 7th season with Donar. Seven years is long, how do you look back at these years?
Antwoord: I look at these years as some of the best of my life and basketball career. Ive played with some GREAT players and even better people, people i still communicate with today.  Winning 3 championships with Donar is something Im very proud of, and something i will never forget as long as I live. I also am very thankful for everything the club has done for me and my family. And of course, the fans are just incredible. The energy and passion they give their team is second to none. Playing in a packed Martini Plaza is a priveiledge that i am very thankfu.

Vraag: after the 2016-2017 you are 33. Do you think already about the future and maybe playing basketball for one or two years after that season?
Antwoord: I take things a year at a time. I still love to play. I still love the day to day of basketball. I love being around my teammates everyday, and i love talking basketball with coach. So as long as my body allows me to still be a contributor to my team, i want to play.

Vraag: for a good career after so many years your body must be in shape. What is your secret of a health body?
Antwoord: Lol. I really dont have a secret. I just try to keep myself in good shape. In the summers, i work out a lot, and do a lot of weights and swimming. I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Adam Barnes 8 years ago, and he helped me out a lot with my summer workouts. Also how to keep my body in good enough shape without killing me in the summer. And my wife, Rose, really help transform my diet since we’ve been together. She makes me eat vegetables and fruit…lol…not just chicken and rice. So im thankful to her as well.

Vraag: in the summer you go always back to Omaha. What are you doing to be in shape for first training Donar?
Antwoord: weights, swimming, and court workouts.

Vraag: most players of last season are coming back. How great is that and how important is that for a team?
Antwoord: its crucial in my opinion.  We dont have to spend time learning coach and his system. We also know each other plays. I think signing Lance and Chase back were HUGE. Chase impacts the game in so many ways. Hes a really smart player but also extremely athletic. Lance is an unbelievable player with a high IQ, and he gives our team a toughness we need. Hes also a tremendous leader so im glad to be back with those guys.

Vraag: late September you will play in the Basketball Champions League. Looking forward to that?
Antwoord: I am definitely looking forward to Champions league. Im thankful for the opportunity and i hope we can play our way into the regular season.

Vraag: what are your personal goals for next season?
Antwoord: my personal goals are always the same…figure out my role to help my team win and try to play it to the best of my abilities.

Vraag: what means Donar for you?
Antwoord: Donar means everything to me. The fans, the organization, and the city of Groningen will always have a place in my heart. Ive had a lot of ups and downs while ive been with donar, but the fans and the club have always had my back. So helping the club achieve success is a great thing for me.

Vraag: do you want say something to the fans?
Antwoord: I want to say thank you to the fans…for always showing up and paying good money to see us play. You guys are truly the best fans in holland, and donar wouldnt be what it is without you.

Vraag en antwoord met Jobi Wall, de nieuwe Amerikaan van Donar

Op vrijdag 6 juli contracteerde Donar de Amerikaan Jobi Wall en hij heeft de onderstaande vragen beantwoord.

Vraag: can you describe in short something about your life (birthday, hometown, family etc)?
Antwoord: I was born September 12, 1989, and I am the youngest of four kids. I have one brother and two sisters who all played basketball their whole lives through university. Basketball is a big part of my family. My dad was a coach so I spent a lot of time in the gym growing up. I am from Denver, Colorado which is a fantastic city, and has some beautiful mountains.

Vraag: is Jobi a nickname of other reason why name Jobi?
Antwoord: Jobi is short for Joseph. My sister gave me the nickname Jobi when I was maybe 5 or 6 and it has stuck with me ever since.

Vraag: you played for Colorado Christian Academy and Seattle Pacific, how do you look back at these years?
Antwoord: my time in college were some of the most impactful of my life. At both Colorado Christian and Seattle Pacific, I was blessed to have some terrific coaches and teammates who helped me grow as a basketball player and as a man. These years helped me build the foundation which has allowed me to continue playing basketball professionally.

Vraag: after college you went to Europe and your first club was CAB Madeira. How was that period, because the first year outside USA is mostly a hard time for a basketballplayer.
Antwoord: playing in Portugal at CAB Madeira was a great first experience for me. As a small island in the middle of the ocean, Madeira is one of the most beautiful places my wife and I have ever lived. It was definitely an adjustment living outside of the United States away from our families, but I had some great teammates who helped make the adjustment easier.

Vraag: was it difficult to learn the European style of basketball with your teams BK JIP Pardubice in Czech Republic and Legia Warszawa in Poland?
Antwoord: it took some time adjusting to the European style. The European game is more physical and more structured than what I was used to in the United States. Thankfully I have had some great coaches over the last 5 years that have helped me grow in my understanding of the European game and as a player.

Vraag: how came you in contact with Donar? Did you had more offers from other clubs and if “yes” why Donar?
Antwoord: Donar contacted me through my agency Diamond Sports. I had a couple offers but chose Donar because I wanted to be a part of their winning culture and team oriented style of basketball. I have heard a lot of positive things about the professionalism of the club and of course the passion of the fans. I am excited to be a part of all of it!

Vraag: what will be your role in the team of Donar?
Antwoord: I will play the power forward position and will help stretch the floor and create space because of how I can shoot the ball.

Vraag: what are your expectations for these season?
Antwoord: we want to qualify for and compete in the Champions League and win the championship in the Dutch league.

Vraag: Donar will play in qualifications rounds Basketball Champions League. Looking forward to that?
Antwoord: I am really looking forward to Basketball Champions League qualifications. I played in the FIBA EuropeCup two years ago when I was playing with Pardubice in the Czech Republic. Playing European competition is a great experience to be able to compete against the best teams from other countries and see different styles of play.

Vraag: do you want to say something to the fans?
Antwoord: thank you to the fans who have already reached out to welcome me to Donar! I have heard so many great things about the passion and support from Donar fans, and I am looking forward to experiencing all of it for myself. I can’t wait to get to Groningen to

Kerst 2017, een mooi moment voor een interview met ex-Donar (en Leiden en Nijmegen) speler Ross Bekkering

Het was een wens van mij om met Kerst een interview te houden met Ross Bekkering, een speler die zeer werd gewaardeerd door fans, coaches, spelers en clubs. Hieronder de vragen en antwoorden.

Vraag: how is it with you now after you decided in June 2016 to retire from professional basketball?
Antwoord: it has been great to be back home in Canada, especially the extra time I get to spend together with my wife, Carli, my family and my friends. Discovering what God has in store for the next part of my life has been a process but one that I embrace and will hopefully bring me as much joy as other chapters of my life have done in the past.

Vraag: was it difficult to start a “new” life after basketball?
Antwoord: I suppose the word “difficult” is all relative. It has had it’s challenges for sure. Basketball was such a big part of my life for so long and something that I was very comfortable with and passionate about. Naturally the transition to finding something different, that also brings me fulfillment, has been trying at times but a lot of growth and clarity can come out of that state of being uncomfortable.

Vraag: does your present life brings you (and your wife Carli) new challenges?
Antwoord: I hope so! Challenges make life exciting. We are still trying to decide where we would like to settle down and with Carli only having 9 more months of residency we will need to make some decisions coming up here pretty quickly.

Vraag: do you play still some recreation basketball?
Antwoord: unfortunately I haven’t played much recreationally or competitively since I’ve left Groningen. I still enjoy getting in the gym and am that guy that still shoots around at the YMCA by himself as a break from his daily routine and as a reminder of the Old Days. I do need to find more opportunities to play moving forward as it does bring me much joy.

Vraag: do you still follow Dutch basketball and Donar?
Antwoord: of course! It has been great to follow the progress of Donar over the last few years and I still keep a pulse on what’s happening in Europe in general in regards to guys I’ve played with over the years or other Canadians doing their thing overseas. Your website has been an invaluable resource Eric for those guys like me who like to know what’s going on and feel connected, I appreciate it!

Vraag: in 2010 your Dutch basketball career started with ZZ Leiden and ended in 2016 with Donar. How do you look back at this period and what were for you the highlights?
Antwoord: I couldn’t ask for anything more coming to the Netherlands in 2010 and signing with ZZ Leiden. The organization and community there welcomed me right away and having the opportunities to learn from some veterans(Seamus Boxley, and Monta “the Tovenaar) McGhee) as well as play under a great coach like Toon VanHelfteren were things I didn’t take for granted. Having the chance to get to know a new community and play with my brother Henry in Nijmegen in my 2nd year was a surreal experience and then heading back to Leiden in my 3rd year to help bring another title back to Leiden was something special. Then to finish my last 3 years of professional basketball in Groningen, (20 minutes from where my father was born) is something I would have never imagined growing up.
The things that stand out most for me though were the people I grew to know along the way. Whether it was teammates/coaches that would develop into friends or the genuine friendliness of fans who I got to share a meal or beer(s) with, those memories always make me smile.
Overall I feel very blessed for my experience overseas and feel lucky to have experienced three great organizations and fanbases (Leiden, Nijmegen, and Groningen) during my career.

Vraag: do you have still contacts with some players and friends in The Netherlands?
Antwoord: I haven’t always been great at keeping in touch but I do speak with former teammates and friends from time to time and I’m always happy I did when I hang up the phone.

Vraag: do you want to say something to the fans of Donar?
Antwoord: thank you for the memories over the years! I truly miss my time in Groningen and appreciate the time I got to share with all of you. Donar as an organization should be proud of the progress the club has made the last few years and the type of basketball being displayed in Martini Plaza. Your support is the foundation of the team and the key to helping Donar reach it’s basketball aspirations in Europe.

Prettige Kerstdagen en Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!

Jason Dourisseau: “as long as my body allows me to still be a contributor to my team, i want to play”

Ik heb tien vragen aan Jason Dourisseau van Donar gesteld en hieronder staan de vragen en antwoorden.

Vraag: how are you, Renate and Myliana Romée Alma now? It must be great to all of you to be back in Omaha with your family.
Antwoord: we are all doing great! Im so in love with my baby girl…shes growing like crazy and changing every week…rose is good too…shes a GREAT mother and we are loving this time in the summer we have.

Vraag: next season it will be your 7th season with Donar. Seven years is long, how do you look back at these years?
Antwoord: I look at these years as some of the best of my life and basketball career. Ive played with some GREAT players and even better people, people i still communicate with today.  Winning 3 championships with Donar is something Im very proud of, and something i will never forget as long as I live. I also am very thankful for everything the club has done for me and my family. And of course, the fans are just incredible. The energy and passion they give their team is second to none. Playing in a packed Martini Plaza is a priveiledge that i am very thankfu.

Vraag: after the 2016-2017 you are 33. Do you think already about the future and maybe playing basketball for one or two years after that season?
Antwoord: I take things a year at a time. I still love to play. I still love the day to day of basketball. I love being around my teammates everyday, and i love talking basketball with coach. So as long as my body allows me to still be a contributor to my team, i want to play.

Vraag: for a good career after so many years your body must be in shape. What is your secret of a health body?
Antwoord: Lol. I really dont have a secret. I just try to keep myself in good shape. In the summers, i work out a lot, and do a lot of weights and swimming. I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Adam Barnes 8 years ago, and he helped me out a lot with my summer workouts. Also how to keep my body in good enough shape without killing me in the summer. And my wife, Rose, really help transform my diet since we’ve been together. She makes me eat vegetables and fruit…lol…not just chicken and rice. So im thankful to her as well.

Vraag: in the summer you go always back to Omaha. What are you doing to be in shape for first training Donar?
Antwoord: weights, swimming, and court workouts.

Vraag: most players of last season are coming back. How great is that and how important is that for a team?
Antwoord: its crucial in my opinion.  We dont have to spend time learning coach and his system. We also know each other plays. I think signing Lance and Chase back were HUGE. Chase impacts the game in so many ways. Hes a really smart player but also extremely athletic. Lance is an unbelievable player with a high IQ, and he gives our team a toughness we need. Hes also a tremendous leader so im glad to be back with those guys.

Vraag: late September you will play in the Basketball Champions League. Looking forward to that?
Antwoord: I am definitely looking forward to Champions league. Im thankful for the opportunity and i hope we can play our way into the regular season.

Vraag: what are your personal goals for next season?
Antwoord: my personal goals are always the same…figure out my role to help my team win and try to play it to the best of my abilities.

Vraag: what means Donar for you?
Antwoord: Donar means everything to me. The fans, the organization, and the city of Groningen will always have a place in my heart. Ive had a lot of ups and downs while ive been with donar, but the fans and the club have always had my back. So helping the club achieve success is a great thing for me.

Vraag: do you want say something to the fans?
Antwoord: I want to say thank you to the fans…for always showing up and paying good money to see us play. You guys are truly the best fans in holland, and donar wouldnt be what it is without you.

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