She became a pretty popular basketball player in and around Utrecht. New Stars, Amazone and BC Utrecht Cangeroes is where she played the past few years: Ginger Schokker.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Ginger Schokker, I am 19 years old since last June. I am a basketball player at BC Utrecht Cangeroes, at the highest league of the age of under 20.
When did you start playing basketball?
In the past, my father played basketball for the national team. I played basketball by myself since a was 9 years old. I started at the under 10 team of BC New Stars in Nieuwegein.
Your father played basketball. Did some of your other family members play basketball before?
Definitely! My mother played basketball, and not to mention my uncles, aunts and my cousins. So it runs within the family, I suppose.
Where have you played basketball?
As said, I started at New Stars, which was a very nice organization. From there I started to practice at Amazone Utrecht under 20 when I was about 16 or 17 years old, but we couldn’t play because we didn’t have enough members. The alternative became playing at the highest team of Amazone.
I was pretty shocked but exciting that they invited me to play in the highest league of the Netherlands. However, the financial problems became this big that Amazone went bankrupt. So after one season of playing at Amazone, the next season I moved to BC Utrecht Cangeroes. I played at the U20 team and also for their highest team, who competed at the Promotiedivisie.
What do you enjoy about basketball?
I couldn’t imagine one day that I didn’t think about basketball. Team sports are my favorite kind of sports. I go to the gym some days in the week, but I don’t enjoy it half as much as basketball. I think I know much about what I can do on the court and what my teammates can and will do on the court.
What kind of player are you?
I often play as a team captain. I like to make contact with my team mates and making things settled on the court. In defense, I am more like a physical player. I love to be a threat inside the paint.
What do you want to improve?
I was always called a center because of my length. At Amazone I played as center, so I do want to improve my post moves, like a killer center. Being dominant in the post. This season 2019-2020 is my last year at the under 20 competition, so I hope to improve that kind of level this year.
Is there someone who inspired you?
Well yeah my dad is. He coached me when I was little. That wasn’t always the greatest times. Of course, as a parent, you want the best of your daughter. When I was about 10 years old, I didn’t like that always. But it was special to see that he always helped me the way I am now, so he always inspired me and he will always be there for me.
At a young age, you already played at the highest league of the Netherlands at Amazone. How was it for you to play that kind of level already?
I think I made a lot of progression by playing so soon in the Vrouwen Basketball League. I was very nervous at first, I just came from New Stars under 18 team. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it pretty quick. When I have to face an opponent who is much better than me, I often get better every game by playing against those kind of players.
Playing in the highest league so soon really sped up my development. I got really close with my team mates, and it happened to be that I played a tournament in France three weeks ago with some of my old team mates.
How was it for you that Amazone went bankrupt?
I think it wasn’t that bad for me, compared with other girls in my team. They played at Amazone for so many years. I was happy that we could play for BC Utrecht Cangeroes. Then again, I think under 20 was a better place for me back then than playing at the highest league, for a girl of the age of 18.
BC Utrecht Cangeroes will play at the highest league of the Netherlands again. Do you think you will be part of that again?
Well, the under 20 team of Cangeroes will be my first team, because I have school exams next year. The highest team was searching for a couple of players, so I did mention that I was interested. It would be great to play in the highest league again.
Are there special moments you will never forget?
Last year, the Cangeroes played in the finals of the Promotiedivisie against EBV Baros. It was a thriller of a game. The Cangeroes won the game in the final seconds and became the champion in the Promotiedivisie. Many of these girls were my team mates, and to see what they reached was incredible! They worked really hard for it.
They say basketball is not only a sport, but it is a lifestyle. Do you have a favorite movie?
Coach Carter is a movie I love see watch. I always get inspired by wise words in this movie. Of course I like every basketball movie.
Do you think basketball in The Netherlands is growing?
I think it is! I think a lot of ladies are playing basketball now-a-days. When I look at the Cangeroes, I see a lot of young talented players who really wants to play basketball. There are also a lot of players that give clinics to children.
Last June, the FIBA 3×3 World Cup was held in Amsterdam. What do you think about 3×3 basketball?
I have been playing 3×3 basketball for quite some time. I think it is a good workout during summer, to develop your skills and to stay in shape. It is a nice and cozy occasion, because it is outside, with some music, and you can see everyone during summer again instead of next season again. I really like it!
You are playing basketball in and around Utrecht for a long time. Do you think basketball in Utrecht has a lot of potential?
A lot of potential. The Cangeroes are playing U20 in the highest league, Promotiedivisie and the senior team is also playing in the highest league. There are also a lot of talented players in Utrecht. The Cangeroes are a big organization, and I think it is growing by making those kind of progression each year.
Do you have the ambition to play somewhere outside of the Netherlands?
No not really. My life here is great for what it is now, and I have my study here right now.
What do you want to achieve in the Netherlands?
I like to see how the youth gets inspired by playing basketball now-a-days. I do love children, so when I am older, I really want to practice with children and also give a lot of clinics to children. Like you said, basketball is a lifestyle. Basketball will be always on my mind, and I think that won’t change anymore.