Morgan Sietse Stilma is a seventeen year old forward, 2.02 meters, powerful, very talented and playing for the Unicaja Malaga junior team in Spain. Morgan is Dutch, but is living with his Dutch father (Peter Stilma) and Italian mother (Mascia Colombo) in Spain.
He has never lived in The Netherlands. Morgan played for the Dutch U18 national team last summer, but as he was born in Spain, the Spanish Federation is also interested in Stilma. Time to speak to him. What are his future plans, how is he progressing? With the excellent support of Unicaja Malaga, We Are Basket had the opportunity to ask him several questions.
You’re Dutch, but you live in Spain, how did you end up in Malaga?
I was born in Marbella, my parents met each other in Fuengirola (Málaga) 22 years ago, and I’ve lived in Spain my whole life.
Why did you choose to play basketball? What attracted you?
Before starting to play basketball, I was playing tennis. One of my friends introduced me to basketball, I went to watch some games, and afterwards I decided to give it a try. I immediately loved it!
How does your basketball career look like so far? Where did you play?
I started to play basketball when I was 13. My first team was Fuengirola, where I played for two years. Then I was contacted by Unicaja, where I started to play in the under 16’s. This is my third year with the club, and I’m playing in the junior team. I also represented Málaga’s and Andalucía’s team.
This year we are playing EBA League, and the Spanish championship U18. We also participate in the Adidas Next Generation Tournament against all the best European teams.
I have been training on several occasions with the First Team, and made my debut against Alba Berlin two months ago.
What is the best part of your game? Where do you have to improve?
My best part is to play near the basket where I can score and get rebounds, I am working hard to improve all the other aspects of my game.
What are the opportunities in Malaga? You’re playing in several teams. Is that difficult?
I have played and practiced this season with the professional team of Unicaja in preseason and with the Junior team now and it is not difficult for me to adapt to these different teams. My goal would be to arrive in the ACB, but that is still a long road to go.
What’s your dream in basketball?
My ultimate dream would be to play in the ACB with all the hard challenges which come with it.
How does a day in Malaga look like?
I go to the school every morning from Monday to Friday and after school we practice 4 out of 5 weekdays for 3 hours, every practice starts with one hour in the gym, followed by 2 hours training on the court. We play 2 games during the weekend. On Saturday morning we practice 1 hour to prepare us for the evening game in the EBA league. Also, I have to study so that I don’t have many time for other things.
Your name suggests your family is from Friesland?
Yes, my great grandfather was from Friesland, he moved to Holland at a young age.
Do you still watch basketball games from The Netherlands?
I follow the results of the first team, and the U18. And I watched the 3 vs 3 World Championships as well.
You have a Dutch father, you have a Dutch passport, do you feel Dutch? So would you like to play for the Dutch national team?
I have a Dutch passport and played with the Dutch under 18 team, unfortunately I got injured just before the European Championships. I hope to play for them again the next summer. Also, I feel Spanish, because I was born in Spain and I lived there all my life, but at the same time I’m very proud to play for the Dutch team, because a part of me is Dutch (Fries).
How’s your Dutch?
I only learned a few words of Dutch, I know the name of some food and thanks to my teammates in the Dutch U18 team I learned a bit more!
How do you look at your future and what would you like to tell basketball fans in The Netherlands?
We must work hard to make basketball bigger and more popular. With the potential available, the Dutch should be able to create a great future and participate on the highest levels worldwide.