CBA welcomes players from all the world every year. This season, for example, there are up to 35 different nationalities in the residence at Tafira Alta and the Netherlands is one of the most represented countries. The most remarkable point is that most of them not only belong to the same generation, but also they have coincided in their U16 and U18 National Team.

holandeses apoyados

From left to right: Menno Dijkstra, Derron Whitbread, Joey Liem, Luuk van Bree and Tom de Haas.

This is the case of the boarding players Joey Liem, Luuk Van Bree, Tom de Haas and Menno Dijkstra, plus David Hahn who could only be in Gran Canaria for the first months of the season because of an injury. All of them were part of the Dutch team that took part in the U18 Division B European Championship in Sofia (Bulgary) from the 24th of July to the 3rd of August in 2014. It is worth mentioning that CBA guard Derron Whitbread could not play that Championship due to a severe knee injury though he was a member of the U16 National Team (Division B) in 2012, as Robert Boezeman, another ex CBA that nowadays studies and plays in NCAA 1 UC Riverside, college, by the way, with which Menno Dijkstra signed the National Letter of Intent to enroll from the following course. In the Bulgarian capital, forward Luuk Van Bree was the most outstanding CBA’s Dutch who averaged 8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game and his best game was in the defeat vs Denmark (15 points and 4 rebounds).

holandeses sentado

From left to right: Derron Whitbread, Joey Liem, Luuk van Bree, Tom de Haas and Menno Dijkstra.

This season his work and effort have been worthwhile to be called up to Canarias Basketball Academy’s first team in Adecco Plata ten times. Under Pepe Carrión’s orders, Van Bree has gained a spot as he showed in the last win on the road vs Barça (80-85), with 3 points and 3 rebounds for 5 ranking points: “We began really well and Barcelona could tie us with the offensive rebounds. Our veteran players solved the game in the end and I think everybody did their job, helping not only with stats”. About his experience in this professional league, he points out that “it has been fantastic to practice with the most veteran (Berni Hernández, Diego Quintana and Roberto Guerra), as well as the foreign young players like Kaleb Wright or my compatriot Jessey Voorn”, and admits having learnt “too many game details because the attention paid to them in this league is more important than in youth competitions; here it is more relevant when to dribble or not”.

Luuk van Bree.

Luuk van Bree.

Moreover, Dutch inside player reveals that his next aim is “to get a scholarship to study in the USA to keep on evolving as a player”, a desire that it is more feasible from CBA: “I want this to be a bridge”, he states. Finally, Van Bree remarks that coexisting at CBA with his Dutch national team colleagues “makes everything be easier and more comfortable, because I can use my language and move around Gran Canaria with them”.