Johan Roijakkers (agency: Stanley International ) is in his first year as head coach of BC Prievidza and I had a change speaking with him before his team will play MBK Rieker Komarno in the Slovakian Playoffs Finals on Saturday night. He is always focused to achieve the goals for the season, with an eye on the long term-perspective with integration of young talent. He likes to work in a real team orientated organization who wants to make a step forward. Prior to his leaving to coach in the NBA Development League in November 2010, Roijakkers was working for the Belgium National television (Sporza) as a co-commentator for the games in the Belgian Top League Johan Roijakkers is experienced with an international network. Although he is still young for a coach he was able to work in the last 7 years with Chris Finch and Arik Shivek. Their coaching experience and international network were able to help Roijakkers build a thorough understanding of the game at a high international level.
Please tell us a little bit about your coaching and training background? I started my professional coaching career when I was 23years in Belgium with Bree. The GM Eddy Swaeb and coach Paul Vervaeck gave me chance to start my professional coaching career, till this day I am very thankful that they gave me this opportunity. During the season unfortunately the head coach left the team and I had to take over the team. Even despite my young age we did very well and had a successful remainder of the season, we made it to the Final Four of the Belgium Cup and were able to beat all the top teams in the league. I did decided that I wanted to be an assistant again, because I felt I still had a lot to learn about the game of basketball. The season after I started to work together with Rudi Kuyl and Chris Finch. In our first year together Chris, Rudi and me won right away the Belgium Championship, the only title ever in the history of Bree. The season after we played in the ULEB cup where we beat teams like Lukoil Academic, Aris Thessaloniki, Ventpils and Alba Berlin even twice. We also won the Belgium Super Cup that season and also in our third season together we made it to the Belgian Finals. After three great seasons in Bree we went to Dexia Mons-Hainaut. In 2 years we made it to the Belgium Cup finals, the Euro Cup final and the Belgium League finals. At the beginning of our third season in Mons Chris decided to work for the Houston Rockets/Rio Grande Vipers. Last season we decided to work together again and we were happy to make it to the NBA Development league finals. Chris Finch basically learned me everything about the game but even maybe more important how to deal with player personnel and how to built a winning team and organization. He was and is the best coach/person I have ever met in this job by far!
Did you always know you could succeed at this level, or was it something you had to prove to yourself? As I told before the past 6 seasons I was always an assistant coach with Chris Finch, in the 6 years that we worked together we made it to 6 different Finals. For me it was a big challenge at the start of this season to keep continuing this successful period. And I am happy that I continue to put another final on my resume this season.
Johan, when you arrived to Slovakia, did you find a team that you thought was ready to return to the top of the Slovakian league? Not really. When I came in August 5 weeks before the season started we didn't have a single player signed, we had no pre season games scheduled and we had no organization around the team. Prievidza finished last season in 9th place with a budget that was 3 times bigger than this season. I felt when I came in that there was not a lot of believe in this organization and my team. But I have to congratulate my management and board with putting a winning organization together with very limited financial possibilities. We had to deal with a lot of off court problems, but my players did a great job with staying focused on what really matters: 'winning games'. That's why Prievidza is back for the first time in 16 (!!!) years in a final series!
The team is a very close-knit group, how important is that to help bring wins? It is very important. When things don't go well you have to stick together as a team and organization. My guys always did that, that's what brought us to this final series.
What do you think has been a key factor contributing to the teams success? When I started to recruit, Chris Finch gave me one important advice: 'make sure you recruit good guys for your first head coach job'. On all my players I did a detailed back ground check to make sure I had good personalities in my team. Second off all I wanted players that were hungry to prove something, I signed 3 rookies, 2 guys that didn't have a job last season and 2 players that were released early the season before. Third of all I wanted players that were willing to play unselfish basketball. This last point is key to be successful in the offensive system I like to run. At the end of the season we had 0 players in 10 top of scoring, but we had 3 players in top 10 of assists! That's how I like it, and I think this is part of our success.
What are you going to have to do to prevent the team from getting down? There is still of ton of work of the court that needs to improve for Prievidza to be consistent in the top 4 of Slovakia. We know what these things are, we just have to keep getting better every day as a organization.
What is the most important aspect of basketball your team needs to focus on in order to be prepared for the Playoffs Final? We have to keep bringing the defense that we brought every single game in the series against Levice and Nitra. If we do that, we have a chance to beat a top team like Komarno.
When did you realize this team could be as good as it was? Was there a particular game during the season that stood out that said to you weve taken that next step? I think our win at Nova Ves early in december made me think we could be really good. We had 3 starters fouling out early in the 3th quarter, but we were still able to find a way to get a W at Nova Ves. This W gave all our guys a ton of confidence.
With this group, you have the flexibility to go small. Is there still a concern about frontcourt depth with this team? I have no doubt about the depth of my front court. All my players can play multiply positions, this gives me the flexibility to move around my personnel at any time during the game.
Talk about the offensive-defensive systems you employ and how are the systems derived? We run a motion based offense. The thought behind our system is to do something for somebody else. If everybody is doing something for somebody eventually everybody is creating for themselves. I think it is fun to watch, fun to coach and fun to play. On defensive we do a lot of different things. I do put a lot of pressure on my guys to stop their man 1on1. I give my players a lot of freedom on offense, but zero on defense.
For a coach in important games like those as the Playoffs Final, how important is preparation before the game compared to making decisions during it? I think both are very important. You have to prepare your team as good as possible before every game, so your chances of winning are as high as possible. But also during the game you have to be able to make adjustments to your game plan to give your team a chance to win.
What must your team do to win the 2012 Slovakian Championship? Since we don't have home court advantage, we have to take care of business at home and try to steal a game on the road.
Would you rather coach a team that is in an underdog position, or a team that is heavily favored? I don't really have a preference for this. Teams that go out and focus on doing their stuff well, always have a chance to win. No matter what their position is.
Why is being a coach the best job in the world? It is great to get a bunch of younger and older guys together and to make them better as individuals and as a team. That's what I personally think this job makes it a great pleasure to do it every single day.
Johan, Thanks for your time doing this interview and wish you and your team a lot of success at the Finals.
Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden (Eredivisie) agreed terms with American forward Daviyon Draper (201-98kg). He just graduated from Florida International University (NCAA). Draper has played there for the last three years. In 31 games he had very impressive stats: 15.9ppg, 7.0rpg, 2.2apg and 1.0spg last season. As mentioned above he is just out of the college and it will be his first season as a pro. Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden roster for 2016-2017: Forwards: Mohamed Kherrazi Will Felder Daviyon... [read more]
Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden (Eredivisie) agreed terms with American forward Daviyon Draper (201-98kg). He just graduated from Florida International University (NCAA). Draper has played there for the last three years. In 31 games he had very impressive stats: 15.9ppg, 7.0rpg, 2.2apg and 1.0spg last season. As mentioned above he is just out of the college and it will be his first season as a pro.
Weert keeps Padberg for another season - 18 hours ago
follow us on
Maxxcom BS Weert (Eredivisie) re-signed 25-year old power forward Joost Padberg (202-91). He has played there for the last six seasons. In 18 Eredivisie games he averaged 6.9ppg, 3.5rpg and 1.4apg last season. Padberg's team made it to the Eredivisie Semifinals in 2010. He represented Holland at the European Championships U18 Division B in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) seven years ago. His stats at that event were 4 games: 6.5ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 70.0%. Pad... [read more]
Maxxcom BS Weert (Eredivisie) re-signed 25-year old power forward Joost Padberg (202-91). He has played there for the last six seasons. In 18 Eredivisie games he averaged 6.9ppg, 3.5rpg and 1.4apg last season. Padberg's team made it to the Eredivisie Semifinals in 2010. He represented Holland at the European Championships U18 Division B in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) seven years ago. His stats at that event were 4 games: 6.5ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 70.0%. Padberg has played previously for two other teams: Dukes Unlimited Den Bosch and Leeuwarden. He is described as:
PF with good Inside Moves + Shot. Also a good 3pt Shooter. Fysical good Defender. Good Rebouder.
Netherlands hand Great Britain second straight defeat in Manchester - 1 day ago
follow us on
Great Britain - Netherlands 68:79 Netherlands celebrated the second straight victory in the exhibition series versus Great Britain. Worthy de Jong (194-SG-88) tallied 18 points and 12 rebounds to pace the Dutch team to the victory in Manchester. Great Britain jumped to an early lead. They posted a 23:12 advantage after ten minutes. The hosts maintained the lead throughout the second term. Great Britain established a 41:37 halftime lead. Netherlands however erased the deficit in the thir... [read more]
Great Britain - Netherlands 68:79
Netherlands celebrated the second straight victory in the exhibition series versus Great Britain. Worthy de Jong (194-SG-88) tallied 18 points and 12 rebounds to pace the Dutch team to the victory in Manchester. Great Britain jumped to an early lead. They posted a 23:12 advantage after ten minutes. The hosts maintained the lead throughout the second term. Great Britain established a 41:37 halftime lead. Netherlands however erased the deficit in the third term. The visitors pulled ahead for a one-point lead at the final intermission. Netherlands held Great Britain to just 8 points in the fourth stanza and rallied to the victory. Yannick Franke (194-G-96) tossed in 15 points, while Charlon Kloof (190-G-90, college: St.Bonaventure, agency: Octagon Europe) had 10 points in the win. Andrew Lawrence (185-PG-90, college: Charleston, agency: Two Points) responded with 14 points for Great Britain. Ben Gordon (190-G-83, college: Connecticut) had 13 points in the defeat.
Copyright (c) 1998-2016 Eurobasket Inc. Disclaimer
Do not copy, redistribute, publish or otherwise exploit information that you download from the site !
Do not encumber, license, modify, publish, sell, transfer or transmit, or in any way exploit, any of the
content of the site, nor will you attempt to do so.