Deze week een interview met een speler uit Den Helder: Ben Kovac.
Hoe kijkt Ben terug op afgelopen seizoen en wat zijn zijn verwachtingen voor aankomend seizoen?
Kim Hermens ging in gesprek met de Slowaakse/Luxemburgse speler.
How are you doing?
I‘m good. I have been practicing a lot lately so I’m a little exhausted but overall I’m feeling fine.
How is your summer? And what do you do to stay in shape for the upcoming season?
My summer is great. After we lost in the first round of the play-offs against Donar, I joined my old team in Luxembourg (Basket Esch) to help them to win the championship. Unfortunately, we couldn‘t pull it off but second place isn‘t bad at all. Right now, I‘m practicing everyday. I‘ve been working on my shot and overall fundaments + lifting weights. We have just started practicing with the Luxemburg national team preparing for the second round of the 2023 european world cup qualifiers so that‘s all I do/have done to stay in shape during the summer.
What were your expectations for your first year?
To be honest I didn‘t have a lot of expectations going in the 2020/2021 season. I just told myself that I need to work hard and give all to improve myself and earn some minutes. I was a rookie, I didn‘t know the league just some of my teammates through the youth European championships couple years ago. I just wanted to prove to myself that I was ready to take on the challenge of being a pro basketball player. So I was very grateful that the Suns organization & Coach Peter van Noord wanted to have me on board and gave me the chance.
What was your best moment from last season?
I mean we had couple of great moments with the team, we had a cool group of guys and we did a lot on and off the court. We were just like a second family. So if I really have to choose one or two moments I think, I have to go with the win over Donar away where we played great basketball over the whole game and got away with a win.
Another great moment was qualifying for the playoffs, that feeling was amazing. If I had to decide for an off court moment I can‘t pick just one, there were just too many!
How do you look back at last season?
For sure I think the season was a succes. We played some awesome team basketball and were sharing the ball well. We were considered as underdogs but we showed to everyone that we are always there for a surprise and make it hard for the best teams. Unfortunately at the end of the season we had bad luck with injuries so we couldn’t really compete in the playoffs like we wanted, but we gave it all and fought like hell. So I‘m very proud how we played & developed as players.
What determined your decision to return to the Suns?
My decision was pretty easy to resign with the Den Helder Suns. I was talking to coach Peter who gave me a lot of confidence during the season and who also showed me that I can count on him and vice versa. And the BNXT League is a good competition to prove yourself against the bigger teams from Belgium. So I returned to the Den Helder Suns because I‘m ready for the challenge and I‘m very grateful what the Suns organization does & did for me, so the choice was made quickly.
After 1 year already in Den Helder, what are your expectations for the upcoming season?
We have a lot of players leaving the club for several reasons so we have new players joining the club who are also ready to work hard and get better. So I think we are going to be the underdogs again with which we are pretty comfortable, because it‘s easier to play when you have less pressure. But overall I think we have the same goals in making it to the playoffs and competing with the top teams from Belgium.
This season we play also against Belgian teams. What do you think about the BNXT-league?
The BNXT-league is great for Dutch & Belgian basketball. It‘s going to be way more competitive and something new. The level will for sure be better and it‘s a great opportunity for teams & players to show and prove what they got
Last season, fans where not allowed to the games; did that affect you?
In my opinion it did. It was very strange and it took some time to get used to it to play in empty stands. So we had to motivate ourselves and push the team even more than you would normally do because there were no fans to support you. It was a weird feeling to play in front of 0 fans in big gyms like Donar, Heroes, etc…
This season fans are hopefully allowed to the games; do you want to say something to the fans?
I want to tell the fans that I‘m very excited to play in front of fans again. I‘m happy to meet them and I hope they will come to a lot of games to support and win some games with us. Let‘s go Suns