With Canisius College sophomore Kevin Bleeker (208-C-93), we continuing our interview-serie "Dutch Prospect Abroad". At the age of 18, Kevin moved to Buffalo, New York to play and study at the Canisius College. In his freshman year, he played 15 minutes per game and averaged 2.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game for the Golden Griffins. We talked to the 610, 225-pound Dutch native about his stay at Canisius College, about taking the next step in his college career and his expectations about the upcoming season.
Tell me about your early basketball experiences. What prodded you into playing basketball? I started playing basketball at a young age. My parents were playing in leagues and I would go to the gym with them and shoot around and play at halftime. I started playing on a team when I was 10 years old. I changed club teams when I was 14 and then I started playing and working on my game everyday. I started playing for ALKMAAR Guardians and then moved to BV Noordkop.
What was the first thing you did when you arrived in America? I came here with my family and we spent some time at Crystal Beach (located in Fort Erie, Ontario Canada, right across the bridge from Buffalo) and we had a family vacation. Then my parents dropped me off at school before they went home. I had been to the U.S. four times before coming to school here, so I knew what it was like.
Was there let's say, a culture shock? I wouldn't say culture shock, because I have been here before, but being away from my family and friends in Holland made it much different. I was now living on my own and going to school in another country by myself.
What was the most difficult thing to get used to? The hardest thing to get used to was the speed and tempo of the college basketball here. The players are so much bigger, stronger and faster than they are in Holland, or anywhere in Europe for that matter.
Kevin, is there anything you've missed by being away from home? I miss spending time with my brother (Steve, who is 15 and plays basketball for BV Noordkop) and I miss not being able to see him play. And it is hard that I can't just hang out with my family and friends.
Was it hard to transition to playing at the college level? Yes, it was a tough change. The guys are just bigger and stronger. The pace of the game is so much faster too. It took me some time to get used to that, but I feel much better about those things now.
What's the difference between you and a American-born player? Before I came here to Canisius, I never lifted weights. The guys were all stronger than me, because they grew up working out with weights. I feel like this is a big thing, not just for me, but for all European players who come to the U.S. to play. European players seem like they are more skilled, while the American-born guys are physcially stronger and much more athletic.
How has Coach Jim Baron helped you improve during your first year at Canisius College? Coach Baron is great to work with. He pushes me in everything I do. He understands the European game - he coached Peter Van Paassen when he was the coach at St. Bonaventure. I know coach Baron can help me become a better player.
What did you try to improve over the summer to prepare for the upcoming MAAC season? I lifted a lot of weights and got much stronger. We did a lot of running too to get in better shape. I worked on getting lower and playing with a better base on offense and defense and I really worked on being quicker on my feet. I also took a lot of shots and really worked on improving my shooting.
The 2012-13 season begins Nov. 02. When does practice begin and what are your thoughts on the team so far? The NCAA changed the rules, so we have been working out as a team since Sept. 15, but the real practice season started Oct. 12. I think we're off to a pretty good start and we are all working real hard. We have a lot to prove, we only won five games last year. We have a whole new coaching staff and a bunch of new players, so we are working at coming together as a group. I think with our talent and our hard work, we can make a run at winning the MAAC. This is a really good league and there's a lot of good teams. I can't wait until the regular-season starts.
Thanks Kevin for the time doing this interview. Wish You and the Golden Griffins a successful season.
Orange Lions outscore DBL All-Stars, Schaftenaar MVP - 5 days ago
follow us on
Orange Lions outscore DBL All-Stars 109-100. Olaf Schaftenaar (208-F-93, college: Oregon St.) was named MVP of the game as he posted 26 points. DBL All-Stars looked better in the first half and posted two narrow victories to take a 6-point lead at the halftime. Orange Lions meanwhile replied with a 32-30 rally in the third quarter and then added a massive 25-12 burst in the last stanza. Chase Fieler (203-F-92, college: FGCU) poured in 18 points in a loss, whilst Drago Pasalic (208-C/F-84... [read more]
Orange Lions outscore DBL All-Stars 109-100. Olaf Schaftenaar (208-F-93, college: Oregon St.) was named MVP of the game as he posted 26 points. DBL All-Stars looked better in the first half and posted two narrow victories to take a 6-point lead at the halftime. Orange Lions meanwhile replied with a 32-30 rally in the third quarter and then added a massive 25-12 burst in the last stanza. Chase Fieler (203-F-92, college: FGCU) poured in 18 points in a loss, whilst Drago Pasalic (208-C/F-84, agency: Court Side) delivered 17. Daviyon Draper (201-F-94, college: FIU) won Schelde Sports Dunk Contest, while Maarten Bouwknecht (185-PG-94) was the best in Spalding 3-point shoot-out.
Team Nederland All-Star Bouwknecht Van Der Horst Mladenovic Kherrazi Oudendag 2 Maarten Bouwknecht (185-PG-94) of Den Bosch 5 Dimeo Van Der Horst (197-G/F-91) of Amsterdam - 8 Stefan Mladenovic (190-G-90) of Groningen - 9 Mohamed Kherrazi (200-F-90) of Leiden 14 Nick Oudendag (210-C-87) of Zwolle 15 Olaf Schaftenaar (208-F-93) of Zwolle MVP 24 Jessey Voorn (197-SG-90) of Leiden - 25 Sean Cunningham (188-PG-86) of Groningen 44 Arvin Slagter (191-G-85) of Groningen... [read more]
Best players of Dutch Eredivisie round 20 - 5 days ago
follow us on
Maarten Bouwknecht (185-PG-94) had a very impressive game in the last round for Dukes UDB and that's him to receive a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 20. The 22-year old playmaker had the game-high 24 points adding six rebounds and four assists for Dukes UDB in his team's victory, helping them to outclass Leeuwarden (#7, 6-14) with 48-point margin 103-55. Dukes UDB maintains the 4th position in Dutch Eredivisie. Dukes UDB is a typical solid league team placed somewhere i... [read more]
Maarten Bouwknecht (185-PG-94) had a very impressive game in the last round for Dukes UDB and that's him to receive a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 20. The 22-year old playmaker had the game-high 24 points adding six rebounds and four assists for Dukes UDB in his team's victory, helping them to outclass Leeuwarden (#7, 6-14) with 48-point margin 103-55. Dukes UDB maintains the 4th position in Dutch Eredivisie. Dukes UDB is a typical solid league team placed somewhere in the middle or a little bit lower in the standings. They need more victories to improve their 10-10 record. In the team's last game Bouwknecht had a remarkable six three-pointers out of 10 attempts. It's his second year at Dukes UDB and it's hard to imagine this team without him. Maarten Bouwknecht averages this season 10.4ppg.
The second most remarkable performance in last round's games was another Dukes UDB's star - American forward Charles Mitchell (203-F, agency: Three Eye Sports). Mitchell impressed basketball fans with a double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds. Of course together with Bouwknecht he helped Dukes UDB with another comfortable win outscoring the lower-ranked Leeuwarden (#7, 6-14) 103-55. Dukes UDB's 4th position in the standings has not changed. His team's 10-10 record is not bad at all. Mitchell is a newcomer at Dukes UDB and it seems he did not have too much trouble to become one of team's leaders.
The third best performed player last round was another Dukes UDB's star - American Justin Watts (196-G/F-90). Watts showcased his all-around game by recording 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the last round. He was another key player of Dukes UDB, helping his team with a 103-55 easy win against the lower-ranked Leeuwarden (#7, 6-14). Dukes UDB needs these victories very badly if they think about getting closer to top teams. Their record at this point is 10 victories and 10 lost games. Watts has a very solid season. In 11 games in Holland he scored 13.3ppg.
Other top performing players last week: 4. J.T. Yoho (198-F-93) of Zwolle - 23 points and 10 rebounds 5. Andrew Smith (206-F-92) of Groningen - 13 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists 6. Olaf Schaftenaar (208-F-93) of Zwolle - 19 points and 7 rebounds 7. Clayton Vette (202-C-88) of Zwolle - 16 points and 10 rebounds 8. Marcel Aarts (213-C-83) of Dukes UDB - 11 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists 9. Sergio de Randamie (201-PF-84) of Amsterdam - 24 points and 5 rebounds 10. Jason Dourisseau (196-F/G-83) of Groningen - 13 points and 6 rebounds
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
Copyright (c) 1998-2017 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.