« What would be better than doing the thing I love the most for a living? »

Liège & Basketball takes you to discover the young talent Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk, selected for the Talento Game.

Benjamin, what is your basketball background?

I started playing basketball around the age of 11. And from the first introduction at practice, I immediately fell in love with the game. I felt ‘cool’ playing basketball. I had always been fond of sports, especially ballsports. But I very soon realized that basketball could be my thing. And it has been ever since that one practice.

What aspects of this sport do you particularly like?

Basketball is a game where a lot of things come together. I think basketball players have to be complete athletes to play and compete at a high level. The game goes fast, can be very physical and intense, requires well-thought tactics. There are many aspects a player can work on and eventually stand out, and combining all those makes it so much fun. You always have to find new ways to get past your defender or stop the guy coming at you in offense. The emotional part is also not to be underestimated. Strong mindsets can help you get the most out of you.

To me it’s simple, I just like every single thing about it. The unseen hours of hard work, the people in the stands cheering; Shooting, driving, passing, playing defense… I just love it and there’s nothing I’d rather do each and every day.

What kind of a player are you?

I’d say that I’m a tall versatile player. By doing a little bit of everything, I easily fit in a lot of systems. Everything still needs a lot of improvement and I’m far from where I want to be, but I believe I can be effective and put pressure on the defense in all kind of ways; whether that is shooting catch-and-shoot 3’s to spread the floor, creating open shots for myself, making plays… I can also be a dedicated defender and crash the boards.

What are your personal basketball goals? Are you looking forward to become a professional player?

Every kids dream about big leagues such as NBA and Euroleague, and for me that’s not different. I aspire to a pro career and truly believe that there’s a chance for me to get there. However, I’m realistic enough to realize that there are a lot of players that wish for a professional career and that the chances of getting there are incredibly small. That’s why I’m trying to separate myself by working hard on becoming the best player I can possibly be and by doing so create opportunities for me to pursue my dreams, because what would be better than doing the thing I love the most for a living?

Which players do inspire you?

Kobe, hands down. His approach was just so different! I always try to have that same mamba mentality as he had whenever I lace ’em up and step on the court. He’s the true example that practice makes perfect. He just looked at basketball in another way than most do. He studied every little detail and worked on every weakness until they became his strenghts.

There are also other players I look up to : Giannis Antetokounmpo, Lebron James, Kevin Durant… all mavericks in the sport that separated their own legacy from others because of the way they play.

You’ve been selected for Talento Game, what does that mean to you?

It’s huge to me. I remember a couple years ago I really wanted to play the Talento as well, so now it feels really good to be invited. All of Belgian’s young prospects are here and it is both humbling and amazing to be a part of this.

What are your wishes for this game?

As a competitor I want to win obviously! But I’ll be going out there and just enjoy the experience. I hope we can put on a great show for all spectators and of course get the W. And for those who want to be part of the winning team, you better be dressed in black.

N.B. : l’interview en français est ici.