Hey European basketball fans! We are starting a new series on Eurospects.com, in which we will try to interview NBA Draft prospects all season long.
We are starting the series with Belgian forward Vrenz Bleijenbergh. Vrenz drew a lot of attention after a stellar campaign in U18 European Championship Division B in 2018 (Averaged 13.5pts, 8 rebs and 6 ast). He is a versatile forward with size (6’10) that can play multiple positions and even at the PG spot thanks to his ability to handle the ball pretty well. This season, he is an important part of the rotation for his team and he does not aim anything less than being the best player he can. Let’s hear him out and get to know him better!
– Can you tell us a bit about your background, where were you born, live and started basketball?
Hey, First of all Thanks for having the time to think of me , my name is Vrenz Bleijenbergh. I live in Antwerp ( Belgium ). My grand-dad played long time ago first division in Belgium but he is the only one in the family who really played “pro” basketball and had a long career.
– What do you think your strengths are on the court?
My strengths are for sure my size and position (guard / forward) who can really handle the ball, I have a good court vision and I can make plays, shoot and pass the ball.
– You are playing in a competitive environment already with a team that reached BCL Final-Four last year. What do you feel like the next step is for you?
Yes for sure, I’m playing in a very good team with very good players around me, but the few next steps I need to make forward is that I need to progress like a pro… My teammates helping me a lot with it. But the really, next step is to keep progressing and be ready for the highest level.
– What do you think about your 2019-2020 season with Antwerp Giants?
We have a strong team like I said and in my opinion we are the strongest team in the Belgian League. We are very young but really talented. So we have a big chance to do what we did last year, but we have to fight for everything.
– What are your opinions on the most important aspects of a “team”?
I think togetherness is the most important thing, you have to be all on the same page and want to play for each other. You got to have the same goals and trust your teammates and coaching staff.
– What are your goals for the future? What kind of a player would you like to become and where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
I want to be a complete all around player, my goals are to become the best player possible in all aspects of my game… Like this season my coach Cristophe Beghin is allowing me to play on different positions and I like it because sometimes you have to go out of your comfort zone to progress. It’s helping me a lot! I work hard everyday to play one day in the NBA or Euroleague.
– In which areas do you think you have room to improve?
Since last year, I’m working a lot on my body, to get stronger and faster. It’s the biggest key for me so I have to put time in it.
– What do you think about your chances for NBA in the future?
A lot of teams are following me, last season around June I got invited for nba workouts by different teams but i couldn’t make it because we were in the playoffs and i had a major role due to an injury of a teammate that I had to replace. I believe in all the work i put in to get better and talent wise I think I may have a chance. I am doing what I can to keep progressing in my game and hopefully this will increase my chances.
– Do you think 2000 generation in Europe is a strong group? Which players do you like from your own generation?
I talk a lot with others, I have a really good friendship with Henri Drell and because of the European Championships we became good friends, but also Luka Samanic is a friend who gives me tips sometimes and Amar Sylla who almost was going to be my teammate. But for sure there are also other prospects in Europe.
– Is there anyone do you like watching? Some player to role model?
Even though I’m a lebron fan, I’m watching a lot of Kevin Durant basketball. He’s a tall guard / forward who also really can handle, pass and shoot the ball… He’s my role-model!!!
– What do you like to do outside of basketball?
I love to spend time with my family & girlfriend! Because of our schedule, it is difficult to see them all. So if I have some free time, I really like to spend it with them!