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One on One with Vita Stam

One on One with Vita Stam

Last year, Vita Stam was one of the players who got selected for the Orange Angels U16. She is also the starting center at CTO Amsterdam and has the ambition to go to the United States.

When did you start playing basketball?

Well, I used to visit my brother’s games a lot of times when I was a young girl. I really liked what I saw back then. I also liked soccer, but I watched my brother’s games so many times that I learned a lot about this sport. I thought why not give it a try, and that’s how I started playing basketball when I was 8 years old.

Where did you play basketball so far?

I started in Zeist at B.Z. ’72. I played there for a pretty long time. After Zeist, I went to Uball in Utrecht and right now I am in my third season playing for CTO Amsterdam.

Besides basketball, do you have some other hobbies?

Sure, for example, I like to hang out with my friends, watching a movie or watching Netflix with my family.

Like you said; your family played basketball too. Where did they play basketball?

My father used to play in the highest league, I honestly don’t know where at the moment. My brother played at Uball, right now he is playing at SVO Utrecht.

Can you describe your style of playing?

I like to play in the post and grab as many rebounds as I can. I can jump pretty high and I do have a large wingspan. Not to mention; I always try to make it very difficult for my opponent, box-out so she won’t get the rebound.

Photo: Bruis de Kock

What do you want to improve?

Finishing in traffic, close to the rim.

Can you pick some of your highlights so far?

At the beginning of this season, I played in the highest league of the Netherlands: the Vrouwen Basketball League. It is something I always wanted to achieve. I think I did pretty good, Hakim Salem always said that you have to earn that ticket for playing in the VBL.

These days, a lot of young players go and play abroad. What do you think of that?

I definitely want to go to the United States, but finish school here in the Netherlands first. After that, I can always look further for other possibilities. I think that would be the US, I got inspired by what players like Emese Hof accomplished in the US.

Why did you choose CTO?

CTO is an organization where they take care of young talent, something you don’t see very often here in the Netherlands. You will practice a lot of times, so you really get the opportunity to get better and stronger. That, in combination with school, seemed fantastic to me.

You reached the finals with CTO U20. How did you experience that?

Amazing! I was pretty nervous back then. I felt overwhelmed to play for a big crowd. I think it was a nice game, also a thriller of a game, but good for us that we reached the finals with almost a new group of players.

Last year, you got selected by the Orange Angels U16 team. How was it like to play at the European Championship?

It was an experience I will never forget. We were all happy that we didn’t demote to the B division. Right now, I hear some players around me saying that I take better decisions during the game. I think I improved my style of playing than before I played with the Orange Angels.

Can you pick a special moment during your career?

I think it was the first game with CTO U20 last season. We played in Den Helder. We started pretty good, but became down big in the last five minutes. But we fought back as a team, making better decisions, and at the end of the regular time, Floor Toonders shot an amazing threepointer that led to an overtime. In overtime we won against Den Helder, after all that happened.

3×3 basketball becomes more popular in the Netherlands. What do you think about 3×3 basketball?

I think we can make it pretty far, also make it to the Olympics. It’s more dynamic and more physical. I still prefer 5×5 basketball, but I like to see the great performances the Lions and Angels accomplished.

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