This season, there are a lot of Dutch players playing in strong leagues abroad.
Today, we’ll highlight the players who made the step to go and play in Spain in one of the top three leagues in the country. Those leagues are the ACB or Liga Endesa, the LEB Gold and the LEB Silver.
At the end of last season, there was some talk about assigning Stilma to an LEB Gold team, so he could make more minutes, but the coach ultimately decided he wanted to keep him in the ACB. There are 13 players on the roster, so Stilma will have to fight for his minutes. So far, Stilma hasn’t set foot on the court yet, but there will be enough chances for him.
Aaron Doornekamp – Valencia
There’s one player with a Dutch passport playing in the ACB. Doornekamp was born in Canada, but is playing with Valencia under his Dutch nationality. He began playing for Valencia back in 2017, but signed a new contract this summer. Last season, Doornekamp averaged 18.5 minutes, 5.4 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist on 43% shooting. This season, Valencia will also be playing games in the Euroleague.
Jordy Kuiper – Cacares
Kuiper started his professional career last year on Iceland, after spending his college years with UNCG. His time with Grindavik was quite successful, as he finished the season scoring 16.8 points per game, 7.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Kuiper’s hard work paid off, as he signed with a team in the LEB Gold.
In his first three games in Spain, Kuiper has already played against two other Dutch players: Shaquille Doorson and Olaf Schaftenaar.
Shaquille Doorson – Marin
Doorson spent his entire college career with Rutgers University, having quite a good last season. He started all 31 games, led the team in field goal percentage and blocks during his last season, as well as being a career 54.6% shooter.
Now, he has the chance to prove his worth at Marin in his first professional year.
Olaf Schaftenaar – Real Canoe
Schaftenaar spent his college years in the United States at Oregon State, but returned to the Netherlands to start his professional career back in 2016.
After three years with Landstede Zwolle, Schaftenaar decided he wanted a new challenge and found that with Real Canoe in the LEB Gold. He ended his time in the Netherlands right, as Landstede won the national title.
Playing for Canoe will be a challenge, as the team promoted back to the second division back in 2018, after spending 22 years on the third level. So, the team is still finding their footing on this new level, as they ended up the 15th spot.
Joey van Zegeren – Castello
Van Zegeren has played professional basketball in several different countries. He started his career with Gladiator Trier in the BBL, then moved on to Leuven Bears in Belgium, before signing with the Oviedo Club Basketball in the LEB Gold.
During his last season, he started 15 out of 32 games, averaging 16 minutes, 7 points and 5 rebounds. This year, he signed with Tau Castello.
Kevin van Wijk – Ourense
Van Wijk already has quite an extensive professional career in Spain. He has played for Gran Canaria B, Oviedo, Breogan, Melilla, Huesca and since 2018, Van Wijk is playing for Ourense.
Last year, Ourense and Van Wijk ended up on the 5th spot in the league.
Terrence Bieshaar – CB Clavijo
Last season, Bieshaar played for CB Prat in the LEB Gold. His season started out great, until an injury ended his career. Now, he’ll play for Clavijo in the third division. This isn’t his first stint with Clavijo, as Bieshaar played with them back in 2017, when they were still in the LEB Gold.
His younger brother, Oliver Bieshaar, is currently playing with Nissan Burgos in the fourth league of Spain, the EBA.
Menno Dijkstra – Girona Basquet
Dijkstra signed a contract with Girona, which is owned by Marc Gasol, for the 2019-2020 season. His season has started out great, as Girona is now on a five game winning streak.