Het seizoen is nog niet afgelopen. Aankomende zaterdag beginnen de play-offs, maar voor 4 teams zit het seizoen er op: Amsterdam, Den Haag, Leeuwarden en Almere.
Onze redacteur sprak met een speler van Almere Sailors: Dante Lombardi.
- How did you start playing basketbal?
I started playing at a young age. My dad is a college basketball coach and I grew up around the game of basketball and always had a ball in my hand. I’m not really sure how, why, or when I started but I know it was early and I knew I loved it a very long time ago.
2. You played at IUP with Willem Brandwijk; did you have contact with him when Almere had interest in you?
Yes. Willem is one of my best friends and we talk often. When I found out there was a chance I would be playing in the DBL I talked to him a lot. Got his thoughts on the league, the area, and if he thought it’d be a good idea for me to play here.
3. You played for a little while for SC Lusitania, how was that time? How was the Basketball league there?
Yes, I played for them but had a concussion so my season was ended short. I enjoyed my time while I was there, I got to live in the Azores so that’s always nice. And the league has a lot of good talent. Some really good teams with some big budgets.
4. What were the differences in the basketball league between the league where you did play in Portugal and the DBL?
The Portuguese league had more depth in terns of talent and teams,
more teams were competitive even against top teams. Which i believe could change next year with the new league coming. But styles were also little different. The DBL had more focus on bigs, and players seemed to be bigger and stronger. But Portugal was more guard and wing oriented and players were more athletic in that league.
5. What were your expectations from the Dutch basketball league?
I try not to put a lot of expectations unless I’ve already experienced something. I knew that there was going to be some good talent in this league and that If I wanted to have a good season I was going to need to be prepared.
6. What did you learn from your time at Almere Sailors?
To cherish every moment. Good or bad. Because even though we may not have had a season I enjoyed because of our record, I’m still able to play the game I love and that’s a testament to God’s glory.
7. You are Co-Founder of mybasketballacademy. How and why did you start the Academy?
I train people during my off seasons and it’s always been a possession of mine to help others get better at basketballs. But My partner and I realized during Covid that a lot of people didn’t have access to gyms but wanted to get better at basketball, and that not everyone has a lot of money to buy trainers. So we came up with the idea to start My Basketball Academy, which will be an affordable App that is ready for Purchase in June of 2021. The app will have a huge library of drills that athletes can watch to see how they can get better and they can always ask us for our feedback/teaching in the app. It gives us a great way to give back to communities around the world, supply athletes with tools that may not have been accessible to them otherwise, and grow the game of basketball that we love so much.
8. How do you look back at this season with the Sailors ?
I look back at this season and know that there is still a lot of room for growth in me as a professional. I can be better than I was this last season, as a play and as a leader. But overall I enjoyed my time with the Sailors.
9. Do you have any advice for children who want to become a basketball pro?
Basketball isn’t a game that’s dictated by athleticism. It’s a game that is dictated by skill. And you can ALWAYS grow your skills and fundamentals and sometimes all you need is a ball. This is part of the reason I started My Basketball Academy, and if you’re reading this be ready in the Summer of 2021 because we really believe that we can help. And we are on all social media’s as well giving out pointers.
And lastly, never give up. If you have a dream of being a professional basketball player don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t be one. Stay persistent and keep working. Good things happen to those that put in the work.
10. And last question: who will win the championship this year and why?
I think Donar will win. It may be biased but that’s who I’ll be cheering for. They have a lot of really good talent on that team, and I think that they have the highest upside of teams in the league.