A few weeks ago I read a request from Niels posted on Basketballiefhebbers NL/BE. Niels was looking for players who wanted to join his team for the Streetball Masters Rotterdam, July 15th. In no time, with the help of the Facebook group, Niels Plieger, Sergio Robinson and Matthew van Tongeren enlisted.
Time for WeareBasket to meet Niels.
Niels is 24 years old and has an intellectual disability. He lives in Rotterdam and is a huge fan of Rotterdam Basketball. His favourite player is Robert Krabbendam. Not only because he is a great center but also a nice guy. ‘I had a few good chats with him.’
Niels started as a soccer player because his brother was playing it. He played in a special competition. But after three years, he did not like it anymore. So Niels tried hockey, but that also did not work out. ‘Difficult and very dull.’ So his mum suggested basketball.
From the first training, Niels had found his sport. As a player in the G-team, he trains every week with 16 other players under coach Wim Kok. ‘My coach is the father of Michael Kok. He is a good player from H1 Rotterdam.’
‘Unfortunately, I don’t play in a competition because there are only a few teams like us. But I do play tournaments, and that is very nice. We are organising our own tournament, which will take place on September 3rd, and I am looking forward to it’.
But how about 3×3?
‘Elles Bouwer, the mother of Maik Bouwer (silver medal China U18), talked to me about 3×3 and thought that I might like it a lot. I saw one game, and yes, it was awesome. This weekend I went to Museumplein Europe Cup 3×3 to learn how to play. I have practised a few times with the team, and almost every day I practise my shot’.
Niels is a good defender. ‘I am strong and physical. This sort of physical play at 3×3 is more allowed by the refs, so therefore my defence is even more solid’.
Besides being a player, Niels is the biggest fan of Rotterdam Basketball DBL.
Niels, good luck with Streetball Masters !!