Het was een wens van mij om met Kerst een interview te houden met Ross Bekkering, een speler die zeer werd gewaardeerd door fans, coaches, spelers en clubs. Hieronder de vragen en antwoorden.
Vraag: how is it with you now after you decided in June 2016 to retire from professional basketball?
Antwoord: it has been great to be back home in Canada, especially the extra time I get to spend together with my wife, Carli, my family and my friends. Discovering what God has in store for the next part of my life has been a process but one that I embrace and will hopefully bring me as much joy as other chapters of my life have done in the past.
Vraag: was it difficult to start a “new” life after basketball?
Antwoord: I suppose the word “difficult” is all relative. It has had it’s challenges for sure. Basketball was such a big part of my life for so long and something that I was very comfortable with and passionate about. Naturally the transition to finding something different, that also brings me fulfillment, has been trying at times but a lot of growth and clarity can come out of that state of being uncomfortable.
Vraag: does your present life brings you (and your wife Carli) new challenges?
Antwoord: I hope so! Challenges make life exciting. We are still trying to decide where we would like to settle down and with Carli only having 9 more months of residency we will need to make some decisions coming up here pretty quickly.
Vraag: do you play still some recreation basketball?
Antwoord: unfortunately I haven’t played much recreationally or competitively since I’ve left Groningen. I still enjoy getting in the gym and am that guy that still shoots around at the YMCA by himself as a break from his daily routine and as a reminder of the Old Days. I do need to find more opportunities to play moving forward as it does bring me much joy.
Vraag: do you still follow Dutch basketball and Donar?
Antwoord: of course! It has been great to follow the progress of Donar over the last few years and I still keep a pulse on what’s happening in Europe in general in regards to guys I’ve played with over the years or other Canadians doing their thing overseas. Your website has been an invaluable resource Eric for those guys like me who like to know what’s going on and feel connected, I appreciate it!
Vraag: in 2010 your Dutch basketball career started with ZZ Leiden and ended in 2016 with Donar. How do you look back at this period and what were for you the highlights?
Antwoord: I couldn’t ask for anything more coming to the Netherlands in 2010 and signing with ZZ Leiden. The organization and community there welcomed me right away and having the opportunities to learn from some veterans(Seamus Boxley, and Monta “the Tovenaar) McGhee) as well as play under a great coach like Toon VanHelfteren were things I didn’t take for granted. Having the chance to get to know a new community and play with my brother Henry in Nijmegen in my 2nd year was a surreal experience and then heading back to Leiden in my 3rd year to help bring another title back to Leiden was something special. Then to finish my last 3 years of professional basketball in Groningen, (20 minutes from where my father was born) is something I would have never imagined growing up.
The things that stand out most for me though were the people I grew to know along the way. Whether it was teammates/coaches that would develop into friends or the genuine friendliness of fans who I got to share a meal or beer(s) with, those memories always make me smile.
Overall I feel very blessed for my experience overseas and feel lucky to have experienced three great organizations and fanbases (Leiden, Nijmegen, and Groningen) during my career.
Vraag: do you have still contacts with some players and friends in The Netherlands?
Antwoord: I haven’t always been great at keeping in touch but I do speak with former teammates and friends from time to time and I’m always happy I did when I hang up the phone.
Vraag: do you want to say something to the fans of Donar?
Antwoord: thank you for the memories over the years! I truly miss my time in Groningen and appreciate the time I got to share with all of you. Donar as an organization should be proud of the progress the club has made the last few years and the type of basketball being displayed in Martini Plaza. Your support is the foundation of the team and the key to helping Donar reach it’s basketball aspirations in Europe.
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