Netherlands national basketball team

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Netherlands basketball team logo.png
FIBA ranking 88 (T)[1] (8 December 2014)
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
(1946, 1947, 1949, 1951, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 2015)
Medals None
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Dark jersey
Kit shorts adidasblack.png
Team colours
Kit body Spikesonwhite.png
Light jersey
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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 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 topscorer of EuroBasket and got a place in the All-Tournament Team.

In 1983, the Netherlands booked its biggest succes 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 till 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.

2012–2015: Rising from ashes[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 Montengro 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]

2015-present: Building[edit]

The national team left the NBB and FEB, from 2015 the team was run by the NMT. This is a organisation that was established solely for the national team.


As of June 17, 2015
Netherlands national team roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Age – DOB Ht. Club Country
SF 12 Akerboom, Jr., Kees 31 – (1983-12-20)20 December 1983 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) SPM Shoeters Netherlands
G 0 Bouwknecht, Maarten 20 – (1994-12-14)14 December 1994 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) SPM Shoeters Netherlands
G 25 Cunningham, Sean 28 – (1986-12-20)20 December 1986 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
C 18 de Jong, Nicolas 27 – (1988-05-15)15 May 1988 2.10 m (6 ft 11 in) Cholet Basket France
SG 6 de Jong, Worthy 27 – (1988-03-14)14 March 1988 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in) ZZ Leiden Netherlands
SF 10 de Pagter, Ralf 25 – (1989-07-22)22 July 1989 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) SPM Shoeters Netherlands
SF 8 Dourisseau, Jason 31 – (1983-12-07)7 December 1983 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) Donar Netherlands
SG 0 Franke, Yannick 19 – (1996-05-21)21 May 1996 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in) Donar Netherlands
SF 9 Kherrazi, Mohamed 24 – (1990-06-29)29 June 1990 2.00 m (6 ft 7 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 B.C. Greece
C 11 Koenis, Thomas 25 – (1989-12-11)11 December 1989 2.10 m (6 ft 11 in) ZZ Leiden Netherlands
C 23 Kok, Jito 21 – (1994-04-23)23 April 1994 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) San Diego Toreros United States
C 23 Norel, Henk 27 – (1987-09-17)17 September 1987 2.12 m (6 ft 11 in) CAI Zaragoza Spain
C 13 Schaftenaar, Roeland 26 – (1988-07-29)29 July 1988 2.11 m (6 ft 11 in) Rethymno Cretan Kings B.C. Greece
G 44 Slagter, Arvin 29 – (1985-10-19)19 October 1985 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in) SPM Shoeters Netherlands
PF 21 Smeulders, Robin 27 – (1987-06-19)19 June 1987 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) EWE Baskets Oldenburg Germany
G 7 Voorn, Jessey 25 – (1990-03-17)17 March 1990 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) Landstede Basketbal Netherlands
PG 5 Williams, Leon 23 – (1992-03-19)19 March 1992 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in) SPM Shoeters Netherlands
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain

Competitive record[edit]

Notable rosters[edit]

Scroll down to see more.

Squads that played on a EuroBasket tournament are included, as well as other important teams.

  • 1946 EuroBasket: finished 6th among 10 teams
Henk Koper, Joop Koper, Chris van Laar, Henk Mik, Wim van Someren, Chris Kugelein, Wim Kunnen, Jan Aldenberg, Freek Brandt, Ben Gerritsma (Coach: Dick Schmull)
  • 1947 EuroBasket: finished 11th among 14 teams
Henk Koper, Joop Koper, Chris van Laar, Wim van Someren, Jan Cupido, Tan Eng Hau, Jaap van Veen, Freek Brandt, Sjoerd Werner, B.Winkel (Coach: Dick Schmull)
  • 1949 EuroBasket: finished 5th among 7 teams
Henk Koper, Joop Koper, Wim van Someren, Tan Eng Hau, Jan Hille, Jaap van Veen, Freek Brandt, Henk van de Broek, Tom Losekoot, Bob van der Valk (Coach: Dick Schmull)
  • 1951 EuroBasket: finished 10th among 17 teams
Jan Hille, Jaap van Veen, Kees van der Schuijt, Bob van der Valk, Rinus van Eijkeren, Ab Gootjes, Johan de Hoop, Henk van de Broek, Pim de Jong, Vok Alberda, Ton Koemans, Piet Ouderland (Coach: Dick Schmull)
  • 1961 EuroBasket: finished 15th among 19 teams
Ton Boot, Gunther van de Berg, Jan Bruin, Peter de Jong, Dolf Pouw, Henny Braun, Wim Franke, Hans Perrier, Frans de Haan, Maarten Sleeswijk, Jan Driehuis, Gerrit Kok (Coach: Jan Janbroers)
  • 1963 EuroBasket: finished 16th among 16 teams
Ton Boot, Wim Franke, Frans de Haan, Bob Grosmann, Bart Tuinstra, Jan Schappert, Simon Schagen, Jan Bruin, Jan Driehuis, Freek Witte, Jos Pelk, Gerrit Kok (Coach: Jan Janbroers)
  • 1967 EuroBasket: finished 16th among 16 teams
Ton Boot, Frans de Haan, Freek Witte, Karel Vrolijk, Erik Jager, Roel Tuinstra, Jan Bruin, Frank Kales, Ton van der Kroon, Peter Rijsewijk, Karel Pastor, Erik van Woerkom (Coach: Egon Steuer)
  • 1975 EuroBasket: finished 10th among 12 teams
Kees Akerboom, Ton Boot, Dan Cramer, Toon van Helfteren, Pieter van Tuyll, Harry Kip, Herman Pluim, Walter Ombre, John van Vliet, Jan Dekker, Jan Sikking, Hugo Harrewijn (Coach: Bill Sheridan)
  • 1977 EuroBasket: finished 7th among 12 teams
Kees Akerboom, Dan Cramer, Harry Kip, Al Faber, Jan Dekker, Jimmy Woudstra, Cock van de Lagemaat, Jan Loorbach, Renso Zwiers, Cees Limmen, Emill Hagens, Bert Kragtwijk (Coach: Jan Janbroers)
  • 1979 EuroBasket: finished 10th among 12 teams
Kees Akerboom, Dan Cramer, Al Faber, Harry Kip, Jan Dekker, Toon van Helfteren, Pieter van Tuyll, Emill Hagens, Bert Kragtwijk, Mitchell Plaat, Sid Bruinsma, Jimmy Woudstra (Coach: Tom Quinn)
  • 1983 EuroBasket: finished 4th among 12 teams
Dan Cramer, Al Faber, Henk Pieterse, Roland van den Bergh, Ronald Schilp, Randy Wiel, Rob van Essen, Mitchell Plaat, Jelle Esveldt, Rene Ridderhof, Jos Kuipers, Cock van de Lagemaat (Coach: Vladimir Heger)
  • 1985 EuroBasket: finished 12th among 12 teams
Ronald Schilp, Jelle Esveldt, Rob van Essen, Cock van de Lagemaat, Jos Kuipers, Peter van Noord, Hans Heijdeman, Ron van der Schaaf, John Franken, Martin Esajas, Martin de Vries, Marco de Waard (Coach: Vladimir Heger)
  • 1986 World Championship: finished 14th among 24 teams
Rik Smits, Jelle Esveldt, Ronald Schilp, Cock van de Lagemaat, Raymond Bottse, Rene Ebeltjes, Chris van Dinten, Hans Heijdeman, Erik Griekspoor, Emill Hagens, Marco de Waard, Peter van Noord (Coach: Ruud Harrewijn)
  • 1987 EuroBasket: finished 10th among 12 teams
Rik Smits, Ronald Schilp, Jelle Esveldt, Toon van Helfteren, Henk Pieterse, Jos Kuipers, Marco de Waard, Peter van Noord, Okke te Velde, Chris van Dinten, John Emanuels, Cees van Rootselaar (Coach: Ruud Harrewijn)
  • 1989 EuroBasket: finished 8th among 8 teams
Cees van Rootselaar, Rolf Franke, John Emanuels, Okke te Velde, Jos Kuipers, Marco de Waard, Richard van Poelgeest, Paul Vrind, Peter Dam, Raymond Bottse, Frans Houben, Milko Lieverst (Coach: Ruud Harrewijn)
  • 2014 EuroBasket qualification: qualified for first tournament in 25 years
Arvin Slagter, Leon Williams, Worthy de Jong, Julius van Sauers, Dexter Hope, Mohamed Kherrazi, Ralf de Pagter, Thomas Koenis, Kevin Bleeker, Nick Oudendag, Roeland Schaftenaar (Coach: Toon van Helfteren, assistants: Sam Jones, Peter van Noord)


  1. ^ "FIBA bwin World Ranking, men". Retrieved 2015-01-16. 
  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. 

External links[edit]