Netherlands national basketball team

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Netherlands basketball team logo.png
FIBA ranking 84[1] (8 October 2015)
Joined FIBA 1946
FIBA zone FIBA Europe
National federation NBB
Coach Toon van Helfteren
Nickname(s) Oranje (Orange)
Olympic Games
Appearances None
FIBA World Cup
Appearances 1 (1986)
Medals None
Appearances 15
Medals None
Kit body black nzfc shoulders.png
Home jersey
Kit shorts.png
Team colours
Kit body black nzfc shoulders.png
Away jersey
Kit shorts.png
Team colours

The Dutch national basketball team is the basketball side that represents the Netherlands in international competitions. It is administrated by the NMT, an organisation solely for the national team.[2]

When it qualified for the FIBA EuroBasket, team Netherlands played quite competitive at some of the tournaments. The team reached the Final Four once and proceeded to the playoffs several times. However, its last appearance dates back to 1989 when it finished 8th. Since 1991, the team has known some tough years, overshadowed by the lack of money and support of fans and media attention. In the 2015 tournament they will make their first appearance in 25 years, only two years after the initially dissolvement of the team.


1946–1991: Early years[edit]

The Netherlands, playing at EuroBasket 1959

The Netherlands were one of the teams that played at the 1946, 1947, 1949 and 1951 EuroBasket tournaments. The 5th place in 1949 was the best performance of the team.

1961–1991: EuroBasket appearances and success[edit]

Oranje qualified for three EuroBaskets in a row from 1961 till 1967. After two missed tournaments, the Netherlands had another 3-EuroBasket appearances streak. In 1977, the Netherlands' star player Kees Akerboom, Sr. shined during the tournament. He was the top scorer of EuroBasket and got a place in the All-Tournament Team.

In 1983, the Netherlands booked its biggest success in history: the team got the fourth place at the EuroBasket tournament. In the third-place game it lost to the Soviet-Union.

1991–2012: Long mediocre period[edit]

Francisco Elson was the face of the team for a long time

From 1991 until 2012, the Netherlands didn't qualify for a EuroBasket-tournament. Star player Francisco Elson, former NBA-champion, represented the team on various occasions but the team never came close to qualifying. To go along in this period, notable Dutch players like Dan Gadzuric weren't willing to play for the team. Home games were usually played at the Topsportcentrum in Almere and usually got little to nothing media attention and fan support in the Netherlands.

Rising from Ashes (2012–2015)[edit]

Toon van Helfteren coached the team to it first EuroBasket tournament in 25 years

In December 2012, it was announced the Netherlands team would be dissolved for 2 years, because the national federation NBB wasn't willing to invest money in it. After a campaign by Dutch player who played in the Dutch Basketball League, the national team was eventually saved. Sports broadcaster Sport1 became main sponsor and DBL-teams investend in the team, which started playing again.[3]

During August 2013, the Netherlands was on its way to qualification for FIBA EuroBasket 2015, but lost two games 20–0 because the team played with two players – Mohamed Kherrazi and Sean Cunningham – who were identified as foreign players by the FIBA.[4] The NBB believed that both were eligible players, and was upset that the attention came up after the Netherlands already won 2 games.[5]

"Miracle of 2014"[edit]

At the start of the second 2015-qualification round, things looked bad for Oranje. The DBL-teams didn't have any more money to invest in the team and the NBB wasn't ready to take the team back. Head coach Toon van Helfteren, who worked as volunteer, still did prepare for the qualifying games. He invited 42 players to play for the national team,[6] but after most (notable) players rejected the offer, he started his first training with 7 players. The team eventually shocked the world, by beating heavy favorite Montenegro in the group to get the second place in the group. On 27 August 2014, the Dutch national team qualified for EuroBasket for the first time in 25 years.[7]

Return to EuroBasket (2015–present)[edit]

The national team left the NBB and FEB, from 2015 the team was run by the NMT. Van Helfteren extended his contract with the national team. In contrast to the summer of 2014, big name players from foreign leagues applied to play for the national team.

In the first game at EuroBasket 2015, the Dutch beat Georgia 73–72 behind Charlon Kloof's 22 and Worthy de Jong's 16 points.[8] The Netherlands remaining four games, but lost single digits to power houses as Croatia and Greece.

Competitive record[edit]


Current roster[edit]

Roster for the Eurobasket 2015.

Netherlands men's national basketball team roster roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Age – DOB Ht. Club
SG 0 Franke, Yannick 19 – (1996-05-21)21 May 1996 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) Donar Netherlands
PG 5 Williams, Leon 23 – (1992-03-19)19 March 1992 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in) SPM Shoeters Netherlands
SG 6 de Jong, Worthy 27 – (1988-03-14)14 March 1988 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in) ZZ Leiden Netherlands
PG 7 Kloof, Charlon 25 – (1990-03-20)20 March 1990 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) Rethymno Cretan Kings Greece
SF 9 Kherrazi, Mohamed 25 – (1990-06-29)29 June 1990 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) ZZ Leiden Netherlands
SF 10 de Pagter, Ralf 26 – (1989-07-22)22 July 1989 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) SPM Shoeters Netherlands
SF 12 Akerboom, Jr., Kees 31 – (1983-12-20)20 December 1983 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) SPM Shoeters Netherlands
F/C 13 Schaftenaar, Roeland 27 – (1988-07-29)29 July 1988 2.11 m (6 ft 11 in) Rethymno Cretan Kings Greece
C 18 de Jong, Nicolas 27 – (1988-05-15)15 May 1988 2.10 m (6 ft 11 in) Cholet Basket France
PF 21 Smeulders, Robin 28 – (1987-06-19)19 June 1987 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) EWE Baskets Oldenburg Germany
C 23 Norel, Henk 27 – (1987-09-17)17 September 1987 2.12 m (6 ft 11 in) Basket Zaragoza 2002 Spain
G 44 Slagter, Arvin 29 – (1985-10-19)19 October 1985 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in) SPM Shoeters Netherlands
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • Club – describes last
    club before the tournament
  • Age – describes age
    on 5 September 2015

Notable rosters[edit]

World Championships[edit]



  1. ^ Along with Croatia, hosts will be and France, Germany and Latvia. Netherlands has been drawn in Group C, and therefore they will compete in Croatia.


  1. ^ "FIBA Ranking for Men". Fiba.Com. 3 October 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "Team profile". Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Nederlandse basketballers gered door Sport1". (in Dutch). Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  4. ^ "Netherlands Incur Penalty". FIBA Europe. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  5. ^ "NBB niet eens met straf". NOS. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  6. ^ "Eredivisie basketbal Nederland". Retrieved 2015-01-16. 
  7. ^ "Basketballers na 25 jaar naar EK". Retrieved 2015-01-16. 
  8. ^ Dutch Win On Return

External links[edit]