Interview with Jelmer van Brunschot: “I am a team player and the only way I can make an impact is to be a strong shackle in the chain.”

Club Baloncestro Silla de Ruedas Valladolid has recently announced the signing of Dutch international, Jelmer van Brunschot. This news comes following his departure from Mideba Extremadura. He sat down with Rollt.’s Dylan Cummings to discuss how he hopes to improve his game in Valladolid as well as his future aspirations to make the Dutch senior men’s team.


Why did you choose to move to Valladolid?

“I was in good contact with the team and the president. I think I can develop myself further in this team. They have good facilities; nice teammates and I’m hoping to be of great value to the team and play lots of minutes.”


How will the move benefit your game?

“I think my game will get better by playing hard, rebounding and being an offensive and defensive threat. I will continue to grow by playing at a high level in the Division de Honour.”


How do you intend to fit into the team?

“Let’s see in the preparation phase. I am a team player and the only way I can make an impact is to be a strong shackle in the chain. I want to motivate my teammates in a positive way to always give their best, both in training and on court during a game.”


What new challenges do you think you will face with the team?

“I have to adapt to the team and the team has to get used to the way I play. Also, it’s up to the coach as to how he uses me in the team.”


How do you think the styles of play will differ between Valladolid and Mideba?

“At Mideba, we were playing with a big portion of the GB squad. The way we played was similar to GB. Also, the game was focused on the shooters. With Valladolid, I am probably going to do more battles under the basket and get inside the paint.”


Why did you decide to leave Mideba?

“The team was going to change. I had a good first season. The guys supported me so much. In the beginning, I did not play much. I was the substitute for George Bates when he was injured. I love the game in Spain and next season I want to play more minutes. The facilities and the positive atmosphere in Valladolid will motivate me very much.”


How much does Spanish culture differ from Dutch culture?

“In Spain, everything is way more relaxed. In Holland, we are very strict in certain aspects. It’s the way of life. However, the players in the Division de Honour are also very eager to perform at their best every day, similar to the players in Papendal.”


What do you think you need to do to make it into the Dutch men’s team?

“I’ve just got to play my game, train hard, keep on going and we will see as time goes on. I know I’m improving really fast so I will do the best I can to keep on improving.”


How do Basketball Experience NL create a supportive environment for its athletes?

“Basketball Experience NL (BEN) is very important for the development of wheelchair basketball in the Netherlands. They supported me a lot during my development. They facilitate a lot of activities such as trips to the EuroCup. In Holland, I also led wheelchair basketball clinics on behalf of BEN to promote the sport.”


How would you describe your style of play?

“I’m an aggressive kind of player who likes to rebound and take on a duel with another player. I play big and strong inside the paint.”


Has anyone specifically influenced you to play the way you do?

“Last season, I trained a lot with George Bates, he taught me a lot about how to take on mismatches, shoot faster and receive the ball from all different kinds of angles.”


What piece of advice has stuck with you throughout your career?

“At Mideba, they said to me that I should always shout for the ball when I want it. And because I didn’t always shout that loud, they said I should shout: ‘GIVE ME THE F***ING BALL!’ Of course, it’s a joke but it’s always been stuck in my head ever since.”


If you could do a training session with three other players from anywhere in the world, male or female, who you’ve never trained with before, to improve your skills, which players would you choose and why?

“I would choose Patrick Anderson because I really look up to his chair skills and he is a legend of the game of course. Joey Johnson because I watch a lot of his games and try to learn how he gets in the paint that fast and simple. I would love to learn some tips and tricks from him. Finally, Terry Bywater to improve my shooting. He could also give me some tips; I love learning new aspects of the game. I think I could improve my shooting from outside the paint more. I love shooting mismatches so that’s why I would choose Terry.”


Thanks for your time mate!


Rollt. would like to thank Jelmer van Brunschot for the interview!


Jelmer van Brunschot Profile:

Date of Birth: 01/10/1999 (aged 20)

Hometown: De Knipe, Friesland

Started playing: 2012

Classification: 4.5

Disability: Single-leg below-the-knee amputee

Future Club: Club Baloncestro Silla de Ruedas Valladolid, ESP (starting October 2020)

Former Clubs:

_Dyna Dovleeuwarden, NED (2012-16)

_Devedo Ermelo, NED (2016-19)

_Mideba Extremadura, ESP (2019-20)

Career Highlights:

_2017 U22 European Championships – Lignano Sabbidoro, Italy – 8th (NED)

_2018 Kitakyushu Cup – Kitakyushu, Japan – Gold (NED)


Interview: Dylan Cummings | Photo: Fotobsr / Batirtze Saez

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