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One on One with Jason Dourisseau

One on One with Jason Dourisseau

A couple of weeks ago, Jason Dourisseau became champion with his team Donar Groningen in the DBL, after they dominated the competition in the regular season. And Dourisseau doesn’t take time off after the season, as he organized the second edition of his JD camp. The camp is his way to show kids his vision on how the game is played and give them the blueprint they need to become a better basketball player.

How did you end up in the Netherlands?

I finished up a season in Iceland, and then I got a job offer to play for, what then still was called, the Gasterra Flames. I was here for five years the first time, and then I went to Germany for one season, came back, and I’ve been here for the last three seasons.

What was your impression of Dutch basketball?

At that time, the league was much better than it is right now, in my opinion. It was a new market for me. But, I would say it was more of an up-an-down game, fast paced game, and I liked it. Back then, every team had at least three foreigners, most of the teams at least. The league was deeper, there were more good teams. I liked the Netherlands from the first moment I got here.

You’ve only played for Groningen. Do you think you could play for another team?

I hope I don’t have to. I couldn’t really see myself playing for another team in the Netherlands, because Donar is the only thing I’ve known. I’m happy here, I’m comfortable here, I hope I never have to go look for a different team.

Photo: Arnold Meijer

Donar was the dominant team in the regular season. Does that mean you have something to prove in the playoffs?

For us, the regular season and the playoffs are two different things. In the playoffs we had the goal to win the championship, and we did that.

How did you experience the European games this season?

Those were great, we played really well, we won some tight games that could’ve gone either way, and I think it was a great experience for everyone involved. This is the deepest I’ve ever been in an European tournament, but it’s been like the seventh time I’ve played in an international competition. I’m pretty experienced in it, but that doesn’t mean it still isn’t very cool to get this far.

What makes Donar so strong as a team?

As a team, our culture is to share the ball on offense, but everybody is a threat to hurt you. We usually punish the defense for their mistakes with our ball movement, and we also defend well as a team and our coach definitely has a hand in that. Especially defensively with his schemes. The last few years, we’ve had a lot of veterans that have played here, but also have been around for a while now.

We try to play on the highest level we can, and it’s nice to be able to show that to teams outside of the Netherlands. As a league, the Dutch league doesn’t get that much respect. We were happy to do well in Europe to represent Dutch basketball a bit. Show that we could play too.

Photo: Arnold Meijer

Why did you decide to start your own camp?

Well, I had been thinking about it for a few years now, ever since I got my passport. And my family is from here, my wife is from here, so we usually stay a little bit longer in the Summer. I started it with Matthew Otten, he actually does that for a living with his company. We got together and started brainstorming. Now I got a team with Eurosteps (Matthew and Vincent), Ype van der Wal and Suze Vonk.

We decided for a camp in the North, because there aren’t a lot of opportunities up here for kids to go to things like that. There are more such things around Amsterdam. I’ve been doing it in the States too for a lot of years, and I wanted to bring it to this region as well.

What makes your camp different than others?

To be honest, I don’t know because I’ve never seen any other camps up here. We’re not really focused on that, because we know we have a good product, a good staff, good coaches and we only have two days. So our goal isn’t to transform kids into great basketball players in two days, but to give them sort of a blueprint of things they can work on in their own time to become good basketball players, if that is what they want. It’s also good to interact with other basketball players in a basketball setting.

Photo: Ype van der Wal

Why is it important for young kids to go to a basketball camp?

First of all, it’s fun, because you’re playing basketball with a bunch of other kids your age, and there is some competition going on. But like I said, we give them some things they can work on by their selves. To become a good basketball player, you’ll continuously have to practice and work on your skills. You just don’t walk into a gym and automatically become good, but a lot of kids don’t know how, or what that means. We just try to show them a few different things. Individually, but we also talked about team game, on how the game should be played, through my eyes. I showed a lot of clips from Donar, we had a video session. We tried to show them how to penetrate, draw in help, now you need to pass, share the ball, play with your teammates, these kind of things.

How did the second edition of the JD camp go?

We learned a lot from the first year, so this year everything went much smoother, we used the time better. So, we were really happy how it went. And there definitely will be a third edition.

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