CTO Amsterdam participates since 2009 in the Dutch Basketball League. The organization’s aim is for young talents to grow and develop their basketball skills. A lot of players have made the step towards a career at a higher level in the past. Players like Emese Hof and Laura Cornelius made a move to the US to play for the Miami Hurricanes. Janis Ndiba went to Sweden where she just recently won a national championship, and Isabella Slim reached the Final Four of the NCAA college tournament. CTO supported the under 20 national division during the 2016-2017 season. Before that, they always competed in the highest competition in the Netherlands: the Women Basketball League. In the upcoming years, CTO wants to play on the highest level. They selected Hakeem Salem as their coach for this project. A very experienced coach. The question now is: "What is the underlying thought of this project?" We asked one of their newest players: Sofie Bruintjes. Sofie played this season for the Basketball Academy of Zwolle and besides debuted for the Dutch national team under 14 last summer.
I want to reach my full potential. CTO seemed like the perfect place for that. It has excellent accompaniment which means the practices are at a high level. Having this kind of training lets me work on my weak points like handling rough play. What I would love to learn is to play multiple positions, practice my shot and develop my ball handling skills.
I think CTO can provide me with a lot when it comes to becoming a good basketball player. They have a lot of practice hours and mental strength training. It is important for me to be more resilient. I also expect that the coaches and players will help me with that.
Besides having a lot of energy and fun for the game, I am a hard worker and quick learner. I love having a nice ambience and conviviality in a team. Making sure a team has that is an essential component for success.
Looking forward to next season, I think it will be tough to create a good bond while playing in a whole new team. Getting to know each other always takes a lot of time. If we are to trust one another, we need to have a good relationship as a team. I also need to get used to living on my own. There is also a chance that I will have to play on a different position which isn't always that easy. The games will probably be hard in the beginning, but after a while, we will be able to handle all the changes as a team. CTO also draws a lot of attention in the basketball world. Not everybody is a real fan of the program. It is always hard to play for something that gets criticized. I just have to shake that of like in a game. If the team and coaches focus on each other and not the people around us, we will be able to make a huge impact and become a great team.
Keeping my passion for the game of basketball is the most important aspect for me. Only then I will be able to continue performing, even on bad days. Of course, I need to train hard, have a healthy diet, get enough rest and keep up with school. These key points will decide my success with CTO. The only down side is that I won't be seeing my parents that much, but that is a sacrifice I need to make.
My dream is to become a professional basketball player. This means I would love to go to an American college. After that, I want to play in Europe and find a nice team there. I dream of becoming a star and play for the Dutch National team. One can only dream.