Donar (basketball club)

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Donar logo
LeaguesDutch Basketball League,
FIBA Europe Cup
Founded20 January 1951; 68 years ago (1951-01-20)
LocationGroningen, Netherlands
Team colorsWhite, Blue, Navy
PresidentJohannes Stokroos
Head coachErik Braal
2017–18 positionDBL, 1st (champions)
Championships7 Dutch Championships
6 Dutch Cups
3 Dutch Supercups
Retired numbers1 (10)
MartiniPlaza, home arena of Donar
Home game of Donar in 2016

Donar, also known as Donar Groningen, is a professional basketball club based in Groningen, Netherlands. The club competes in the Dutch Basketball League (DBL) and its home arena is MartiniPlaza, which has a seating capacity of 4,350 people. Due to sponsorship reasons the club was also known as GasTerra Flames and Capitals during the 2000s.

Donar is one of the traditional first division clubs along with Den Bosch, as it entered the league 49 years ago. The club won the national DBL championship seven times; in 1982, 2004, 2010, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Donar was runner-up in the seasons: 1998, 2006, 2011, 2015. There are also six NBB Cups – the domestic cup competition – in the honor list of Donar; they won the cup in 2005, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Donar has the most fans in the Netherlands, the club has somewhere around 1700 season ticket holders and sells the MartiniPlaza out on a regular basis in the Playoffs.[1]


In 1881, gymnastics club Wodan and fencing club Mars, both part of the student corps Vindicat, merged to form GSSV Donar. In 1951 the basketball department of this club was founded. In 1970 the club promoted to the highest basketball league.

In 1973 the club separated from Vindicat and got their first sponsor, Nationale-Nederlanden. This allowed the team to play in the much bigger Martinihal "Events hall". On September 20, 1980, Donar won against BOB Oud-Beijerland with a score of 158-58. The score of 158 was repeated that same season against the same team (158–82) and never since. The difference of 100 points has never been repeated.

After the first championship in 1982, Nationale Nederlanden announced to stop as sponsor. After one year of playing under their name, Donar was demoted to the rayon league. Donar became champion that year and promoted to the promotion league. In 1986, Donar returned to the highest league; where they remained ever since. On February 1, 1991, the Basketball Business Club (BBC) was founded. In 2000–01, the Martinihal was remodeled to become Martiniplaza and home games were moved to the new sports hall in the complex. This hall was renovated in 2006 when new seating was placed.

2009–2014: Successful GasTerra years[edit]

GasTerra Flames celebrating winning the 2010 DBL championship

In 2009 GasTerra became the main sponsor of the club, that was renamed the GasTerra Flames.[2] Head coach Marco van den Berg stayed and a whole new team was put together. In the 2009–10 season, Donar won the 3rd national championship in club history by beating West-Brabant Giants 4–1 in the Finals.[3] Earlier, in the regular season, Flames finished in first place with a 33–3 record. The key players of the team were the Americans Matt Haryasz, Matt Bauscher, Jason Dourisseau and Robby Bostain.

The whole squad that won the 2010 title returned for the next season, except for Tim Blue. In 2010 they became the first Dutch basketball team to take part in the qualifying rounds of the new Euroleague.[4] In the regular season Donar ended on the second place, while Jason Dourisseau was named the Dutch League MVP. The team won a second NBB Cup in 2011, after beating WCAA Giants[5] The team did eventually lost in the DBL Finals to Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden 4–3 in an historic game 7 which included three overtimes.[6]

Scene of a Play-off Finals game in 2010

Head coach Marco van den Berg left after the 2010–11 season and Hakim Salem, former ABC Amsterdam coach was acquired.[7] The team brought experienced players to the team like David Bell and Alex Wesby but they couldn't meet the set expectations. In the cup competition, Flames was defeated in the quarterfinals and in the DBL semifinals it lost to EiffelTowers Den Bosch.

During the 2012–13 season Hakim Salem was fired and the Croatian coach Ivica Skelin was acquired.[8][9] Despite the coaching change, team was still swept 3–0 by Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden in the DBL semifinals.

Before the 2013–14 season it was announced that GasTerra's sponsor contract ended after the season.[10] Flames acquired Dutch top players Arvin Slagter and Ross Bekkering from defending champion ZZ Leiden and three new Americans were added to the team. On March 30, 2014 Flames won the NBB Cup by beating Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden 79–71.[11]

In the 2014 Playoffs Flames beat BC Apollo easily in the quarterfinals (2–0) and later beat ZZ Leiden after a tough series (3–2). On June 1, 2014 Donar won its 4th national title. They beat SPM Shoeters Den Bosch 76–68 in game 7 of the Finals series.[12]

2014–present: Donar[edit]

In the 2014 offseason, the club announced that in the previous season, a deficit of €135,000 had arisen after mistakes made regarding the budget.[13] Therefore, the club had to cut into costs for the 2014–15 season and the budet was reduced. For the 2014–15 season, the club is known again as Donar.[14] The team won the Supercup against Leiden and the NBB Cup Final against Den Bosch, the DBL Finals were lost 4–1 against Den Bosch.

In the 2015 offseason, Ivica Skelin left the club and was replaced by Erik Braal. In July 2015, former league MVP Jason Dourisseau returned to Donar.[15] In the 2015–16 season, Donar won its 5th DBL title after beating Landstede Basketbal 4–1 in the Finals.

In the 2016–17 season, Donar reached the second round of the FIBA Europe Cup after being defeated by Tartu in the first qualification round of the Basketball Champions League. This feat would mean Donar's best European performance in club history. The 2016–17 season was also the first season ever to record the triple crown. New Heroes Den Bosch was defeated to win the Supercup, Landstede Basketbal was defeated in the NBB Cup final as well as in the playoff finals (4–1).

In the 2017–18 season, Donar qualified for the FIBA Europe Cup after being defeated in an overtime thriller against Estudiantes in the third and last qualification round of the Basketball Champions League. As a result of the loss Donar was drafted into a Europe Cup group with KK Bosna (bosnia and herzegovina), Le Portel (France) and Antwerp Giants (Belgium) in which they finished 2nd. By ending in second place they earned a spot in the second round phase of the Europe Cup, playingin group L against CS Universitatea Mobitelco Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Belfius Mons-Hainaut (Belgium) and Keravnos B.C. (Cyprus). After a home and away win against Cluj, a clear home win against Keravnos (109-69) and a convincing home win against Mons, Donar placed 1st in this group and, for the first time in club history, qualified itself for the Europe Cup play-off phase.

In the play-offs, Donar beat Cluj-Napoca in the round of 16 and Mornar Bar in the quarter-finals, to reach its first ever European semi-finals. In the semi-finals, Donar lost to the defending Italian champion Reyer Venezia, despite winning the second leg at home. Donar won its third consecutive DBL title on 29 May 2018, after defeating ZZ Leiden 4–0 in the finals.

Club identity[edit]


The club has a rich history of names, mainly because of the different main sponsors of the team. Despite having been named differently in the past, "Donar" has always been used by supporters to describe the team.


Evolution of the Logo
2003–2006 2006–2009 2009–2014 2014–present
MPC Capitals logo.png Hanzevast Capitals logo.png GasTerra Flames logo.png Donar 2014 logo.png


Kit body thinredwhitesides.png
1981–82 jersey
Kit shorts redwhitesides.png
Team colours
Kit body whitesides.png
2005–06 jersey
Kit shorts whitesides.png
Team colours
Kit body whitesides.png
2006–07 jersey
Kit shorts whitesides.png
Team colours
Kit body basketball GasterraFlames2010thuis.png
2009–14 jersey
Kit shorts basketball GasterraFlames2010h.png
Team colours
Kit body basketball GasterraFlames2010uit1.png
2009–14 jersey
Kit shorts.png
Team colours


Current roster[edit]

Donar roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht. Wt. Age
F 0 United States Sitton, Grant (I) 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) 80 kg (176 lb) 25 – (1993-04-27)27 April 1993
G 1 Netherlands Cunningham, Sean 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 88 kg (194 lb) 32 – (1986-12-20)20 December 1986
PG 5 United States Gipson, Teddy (I) 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in) 73 kg (161 lb) 39 – (1980-02-15)15 February 1980
SF 8 Netherlands Dourisseau, Jason (C) 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 91 kg (201 lb) 35 – (1983-12-07)7 December 1983
G/F 11 Netherlands Hammink, Shane 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) 95 kg (209 lb) 24 – (1994-07-22)22 July 1994
C 14 Netherlands Koenis, Thomas 2.10 m (6 ft 11 in) 103 kg (227 lb) 29 – (1989-12-11)11 December 1989
PF 15 Netherlands Mast, Rienk 2.02 m (6 ft 8 in) 17 – (2001-07-19)19 July 2001
PG 21 Netherlands Hoeve, Tim 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 20 – (1998-05-15)15 May 1998
PF 23 United States Dendy, LaRon (I) 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) 104 kg (229 lb) 30 – (1988-07-18)18 July 1988
C 33 Croatia Pašalić, Drago (I) 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) 107 kg (236 lb) 34 – (1984-06-23)23 June 1984
PG 34 United States Jeter, Lance (I) 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) 120 kg (265 lb) 30 – (1988-07-18)18 July 1988
G/F 44 Netherlands Slagter, Arvin 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) 90 kg (198 lb) 33 – (1985-10-19)19 October 1985
Head coach

Netherlands Erik Braal

Assistant coach(es)

Netherlands Meindert van Veen

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Development player
  • (I) Import player
  • Injured Injured

Updated: 12 July 2018

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starting 5 Bench 1 Bench 2
C Thomas Koenis Drago Pasalic
PF LaRon Dendy Grant Sitton Rienk Mast
SF Jason Dourisseau Shane Hammink
SG Sean Cunningham Arvin Slagter
PG Lance Jeter Teddy Gipson Tim Hoeve
  • Injured Denotes injured player.

Retired numbers[edit]

Donar retired numbers
Nat. Player Position Tenure
10 Netherlands Martin de Vries SG 1979–1983, 1986–1990

Notable players[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.


Total titles: 15

Domestic competition[edit]

European competition[edit]

Season by season[edit]

Season Tier League Pos. NBB Cup European competitions
1970–71 1 Eredivisie 7th Preliminary round
1971–72 1 Eredivisie 10th
1972–73 1 Eredivisie 8th
1973–74 1 Eredivisie 6th Preliminary round
1974–75 1 Eredivisie 8th
1975–76 1 Eredivisie 7th Preliminary round
1976–77 1 Eredivisie 4th
1977–78 1 Eredivisie 3rd
1978–79 1 Eredivisie 3rd
1979–80 1 Eredivisie 4th
1980–81 1 Eredivisie 5th
1981–82 1 Eredivisie 1st
1982–83 1 Eredivisie 4th
Lower divisions
1986–87 1 Eredivisie 4th
1987–88 1 Eredivisie 7th
1988–89 1 Eredivisie 8th
1989–90 1 Eredivisie 3rd
1990–91 1 Eredivisie 4th
1991–92 1 Eredivisie 4th Quarterfinalist
1992–93 1 Eredivisie 5th Quarterfinalist
1993–94 1 Eredivisie 5th Semifinalist
1994–95 1 Eredivisie 4th
1995–96 1 Eredivisie 5th
1996–97 1 Eredivisie 3rd Runner–up
1997–98 1 Eredivisie 2nd Semifinalist
1998–99 1 Eredivisie 6th Quarterfinalist
1999–00 1 Eredivisie 5th Runner–up
2000–01 1 Eredivisie 3rd Quarterfinalist
2001–02 1 Eredivisie 5th Semifinalist
2002–03 1 Eredivisie 7th Quarterfinalist
2003–04 1 Eredivisie 1st Semifinalist
2004–05 1 Eredivisie 5th Champion 2 ULEB Cup
2005–06 1 Eredivisie 2nd Fourth round 3 FIBA EuroCup
2006–07 1 Eredivisie 5th Runner–up
2007–08 1 Eredivisie 5th Quarterfinalist 2 ULEB Cup
2008–09 1 Eredivisie 3rd Quarterfinalist
2009–10 1 Eredivisie 1st Semifinalist
2010–11 1 DBL 2nd Champion 1 Euroleague
2 Eurocup
2011–12 1 DBL 3rd Quarterfinalist 2 Eurocup
2012–13 1 DBL 3rd Fourth round
2013–14 1 DBL 1st Champion 3 EuroChallenge
2014–15 1 DBL
2015–16 1 DBL
Eightfinal 3 FIBA Europe Cup
2016–17 1 DBL 1st Champion 3 Champions League
4 FIBA Europe Cup
2017–18 1 DBL 1st Champion 3 Champions League
4 FIBA Europe Cup
2018–19 1 DBL 3 Champions League
4 FIBA Europe Cup

Individual awards[edit]

Supporters club[edit]

The current supporters club was founded on August 26, 1997 under the name Vikings, a nod to the Norse god Donar (Thor). After the club lost Donar from its name, this link became less clear. In 2010 it was decided to change the name of the supporters club to SV Donar (Supporters club Donar). The supporters club had 330 members as of the start of season 2010–11.

Head coaches[edit]

Erik Braal holds the record for most championships won with Donar
Coach From To Honours
Netherlands Maarten van Gent 1980 1982 1 Dutch League
United States Bill Sheridan 1982 1983 -
Netherlands Jan Kamman 1983 1985 -
Netherlands Jan Castelein 1985 1986 -
Suriname Rupport Clements 1986 1988 -
Netherlands Jan Willem Jansen 1988 1991 -
Netherlands Marten Scheepstra 1991 1992 -
Suriname Glenn Pinas 1993 2002 -
Netherlands Ton Boot 2003 2007 1 Dutch League, 1 NBB Cup
Spain Pep Clarós 2007 2008
Netherlands Marco van den Berg 2008 2011 1 Dutch League, 1 NBB Cup
Netherlands Hakim Salem 2011 December 2012
Croatia Ivica Skelin January 2013 2015 1 Dutch League, 2 NBB Cups, 1 Supercup
Netherlands Erik Braal 2015 Present 3 Dutch League, 2 NBB Cups, 1 Supercup


  1. ^ "Donar: "Een verslavingsgraad van 98 procent"". 2014-05-31. Archived from the original on 2014-09-03. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
  2. ^ "Capitals wordt GasTerra Flames" (in Dutch). RTV Noord. Retrieved 2014-03-11.
  3. ^ "GasTerra Flames landskampioen". RTV Noord. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  4. ^ "GasTerra Flames toegelaten tot voorronden Euroleague". GasTerra Flames (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2014-04-19. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  5. ^ "Basketbalbeker voor GasTerra Flames" (in Dutch). AD. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  6. ^ "Basketballers ZZ Leiden kampioen". NOS. 2011-12-21. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  7. ^ "Salem nieuwe coach GasTerra Flames". NOS (in Dutch). Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  8. ^ "Coach Salem ontslagen bij Flames". NOS (in Dutch). Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  9. ^ "Ivica Skelin nieuwe coach GasTerra Flames". GasTerra Flames (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2014-04-19. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  10. ^ "GasTerra stopt als hoofdsponsor Flames" (in Dutch). RTV Noord. 2013-07-28. Retrieved 2014-03-11.
  11. ^ "GasTerra Flames verovert nationale beker". Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  12. ^ "Vierde landstitel voor GasTerra Flames". iBasketball. 2014-05-25. Archived from the original on 2014-06-02. Retrieved 2014-06-07.
  13. ^ "Bericht van het bestuur: een vakantie-update » Donar" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2015-01-07.
  14. ^ "Naam Donar terug in Martiniplaza". DBL.
  15. ^ Jason Dourisseau terug bij Donar
  16. ^ a b "Landskampioenen, bekerwinnaars en competitiewinnaars" (in Dutch). Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Super Cup" (in Dutch). Retrieved 16 March 2018.

External links[edit]