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Netherlands national basketball team

The Netherlands national basketball team (Dutch: Het Nederlands Elftal) represents the Netherlands in international basketball matches. The national team is governed by Basketball Nederland. The Dutch have reached the European Basketball Championship on 15 occasions. Their best results at the event came in 1983, where they finished in 4th place. They also qualified for the FIBA World Cup once in 1986. In recent years though, the national team has struggled with consistency to reach major international tournaments.

Netherlands Netherlands
Basketball Nederland logo.png
FIBA ranking44 Decrease 3 (16 September 2019)[1]
Joined FIBA1946
FIBA zoneFIBA Europe
National federationBasketball Nederland
CoachMaurizio Buscaglia
Nickname(s)Oranje (Orange)
Olympic Games
FIBA World Cup
Appearances1 (1986)
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours

The team represents itself as the Orange Lions.


1946–1991: Early yearsEdit

The Netherlands playing a match against Luxembourg in 1959

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

1961–1991: EuroBasket appearances and successEdit

The Oranje qualified for three European Basketball Championships 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 earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

In 1983, the Dutch had its biggest success in history under head coach Vladimir Heger. The team achieved fourth place at the EuroBasket tournament. In the third-place game it lost to the Soviet Union.

1991–2012: Long mediocre periodEdit

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

From 1991 until 2012, the Netherlands did not qualify for a EuroBasket tournament. Star player Francisco Elson, former NBA-champion, represented the team on several occasions but the team never came close to qualifying. During this period, notable Dutch players like Dan Gadzuric were not willing to play for the national team. Home games were usually played at the Topsportcentrum in Almere and usually had little to no media attention or fan support in the Netherlands.

Rising from the ashes (2012–2015)Edit

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

In December 2012, it was announced that the Netherlands national team would be dissolved for 2 years, because the national federation NBB {Netherlands Basketball Bond} was not willing to invest money in to it. After an campaign by Dutch players who played in the Dutch Basketball League, the national team was eventually saved. Sports broadcaster Sport1 became the main sponsor and DBL-teams invested in the team, which started playing again.[2]

During August 2013, the Netherlands was on its way to qualification for 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 FIBA.[3] The NBB believed that both were eligible players, and was upset that the attention came up after the Netherlands already won 2 games.[4]

"Miracle of 2014"Edit

Logo used from 2012–2019

At the start of the second 2015-qualification round, things looked bad for the 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 a volunteer, still did prepare for the qualifying games. He invited 42 players to play for the national team,[5] but after most (notable) players rejected the offer, he started his first training camp with 7 players. The team eventually shocked the world, by beating heavy favorite Montenegro to get the second place in their group. On 27 August 2014, the Dutch national team qualified for EuroBasket for the first time in 25 years.[6]

Return to EuroBasket (2015–present)Edit

The national team left the NBB and FEB, from 2015 the team was run by the NMT. Coach Van Helfteren then had his contract with the national team extended. 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.[7] The Netherlands remaining four games though were all loses, but only by single digits to power houses such as Croatia and Greece.

On 22 July 2019, Italian Maurizio Buscaglia signed a contract to become the head coach of the Netherlands, ending in the summer of 2021.[8]

Competitive recordEdit


Current rosterEdit

Roster for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualification (Europe).[9]

Netherlands men's national basketball team roster roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Age – Date of birth Height Club
SG 0 Franke, Yannick 22 – (1996-05-21)21 May 1996 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
PG 5 Williams, Leon 26 – (1992-03-19)19 March 1992 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in) AB Castelló  
SG 6 de Jong, Worthy 30 – (1988-03-14)14 March 1988 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in) ZZ Leiden  
PG 7 Kloof, Charlon 28 – (1990-03-20)20 March 1990 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) CB Murcia  
G 8 Alberts, Bryan 23 – (1994-12-29)29 December 1994 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) Long Beach State  
G 11 Hammink, Shane 24 – (1994-07-22)22 July 1994 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) Donar Groningen  
PF 12 van der Mars, Thomas 27 – (1990-11-15)15 November 1990 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) Crelan Okapi Aalstar  
F/C 13 Schaftenaar, Roeland 30 – (1988-07-29)29 July 1988 2.11 m (6 ft 11 in) Ionikos Nikaias B.C.  
C 14 Oudendag, Nick 31 – (1987-04-23)23 April 1987 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) Den Bosch Basketball  
PF 18 Wessels, Stefan 34 – (1984-04-13)13 April 1984 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) Den Bosch Basketball  
C 22 Bieshaar, Terrence 21 – (1997-07-28)28 July 1997 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) CB Prat  
PF 33 Kok, Jito 24 – (1994-03-23)23 March 1994 2.07 m (6 ft 9 in) Dutch Windmills  
G 44 Slagter, Arvin (C) 32 – (1985-10-19)19 October 1985 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in) Donar Groningen  
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
  • (C) Team captain
  • Club – describes last
    club before the tournament
  • Age – describes age
    on 5 September 2018

Notable past rostersEdit

1983 EuroBasket: finished 4th among 12 teams

4 René Ridderhof, 5 Ronald Schilp, 6 Randy Wiel, 7 Mitchell Plaat, 8 Jelle Esveldt, 9 Al Faber, 10 Jos Kuipers, 11 Dan Cramer, 12 Cock van de Lagemaat, 13 Henk Pieterse, 14 Roland van den Bergh, 15 Rob van Essen (Coach: Vladimír Heger)

1986 FIBA World Cup: finished 14th among 24 teams

4 Rik Smits, 5 Jelle Esveldt, 6 Ronald Schilp, 7 Cock van de Lagemaat, 8 Raymond Bottse, 9 Rene Ebeltjes, 10 Chris van Dinten, 11 Hans Heijdeman, 12 Erik Griekspoor, 13 Emill Hagens, 14 Marco de Waard, 15 Peter van Noord (Coach: Ruud Harrewijn)

1989 EuroBasket: finished 8th among 8 teams

4 Raymond Bottse, 5 John Emanuels, 6 Marco de Waard, 7 Cees van Rootselaar, 8 Rolf Franke, 9 Okke te Velde, 10 Richard van Poelgeest, 11 Frans Houben, 12 Milko Lieverst, 13 Paul Vrind, 14 Peter Dam, 15 Jos Kuipers (Coach: Ruud Harrewijn)

2015 EuroBasket: finished 21st among 24 teams

0 Yannick Franke, 5 Leon Williams, 6 Worthy de Jong, 7 Charlon Kloof, 9 Mohamed Kherrazi, 10 Ralf de Pagter, 12 Kees Akerboom, Jr., 13 Roeland Schaftenaar, 18 Nicolas de Jong, 21 Robin Smeulders, 23 Henk Norel, 44 Arvin Slagter (C) (Coach: Toon van Helfteren)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "FIBA Ranking Presented by Nike". FIBA. 16 September 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Nederlandse basketballers gered door Sport1". (in Dutch). Retrieved 2014-06-15.
  3. ^ "Netherlands Incur Penalty". FIBA Europe. Retrieved 2014-06-15.
  4. ^ "NBB niet eens met straf". NOS. Retrieved 2014-06-15.
  5. ^ "Eredivisie basketbal Nederland". Retrieved 2015-01-16.
  6. ^ "Basketballers na 25 jaar naar EK". Retrieved 2015-01-16.
  7. ^ Dutch Win On Return
  8. ^ "Italiaan Buscaglia nieuwe basketballcoach Nederlands mannenteam". Oranje Basketball. 22 July 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  9. ^ "NETHERLANDS 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualification Roster". OranjeBasketbal. Retrieved 5 September 2018.

External linksEdit