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Israel vs. Netherlands preview: Deni Avdija’s national team looks to race to a 2-0 start in EuroBasket

This is the easiest game on paper for the Israelis. But as they say, never count out your opponents!

Sweden v Netherlands - FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifications Photo by Esra Bilgin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Israel will play the Netherlands tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET in their second match of EuroBasket Group D play. Let’s break down Israel’s last game, look at the Netherlands’ roster and more.

The Israel men’s national basketball team upset Finland in their first match of EuroBasket 2022. Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in his first major tournament for a national team.

עבודה מצוינת DENI!!!!!

The Israelis won’t have much rest before facing off against the Netherlands, who are coming off a 100-76 loss to Serbia earlier today. The result should be no surprise, considering that recent NBA MVP Nikola Jokic plays for the Serbs. The Dutch don’t have any NBA talent and most play domestically in the BNXT League, which also includes teams from Belgium.

The one player who is on an American team at any level right now is Syracuse forward Jesse Edwards, who is still too undeveloped at the moment. That said, there are some others who have played college basketball in the States in the past. Starting center Matt Haarms played at Purdue and BYU from 2017-21 and was considered a possible NBA draft prospect. Olaf Schaftenaar played college basketball at Oregon State from 2012-16.

The Netherlands’ starting point guard, Keye van der Vuurst de Vries, made himself available for the NBA Draft this year though he wasn’t selected. He’s just 20 years old and played on four straight Belgian or BNXT championship teams with Filou Oostende. In fact, he was the Finals MVP this past season for the Belgian-only tournament in the league.

I won’t write off a team before it hits the court because of a lack of NBA players or familiarity. But my feeling is that Israel shouldn’t have much trouble beating the Netherlands and getting a much-needed 2-0 record in group play tomorrow.

To this point in BF history, most things we mentioned in the Dutch language had to do with Belgium when Emma Meesseman played for the Mystics. Now, I guess we’re going to use that for the country we associate the Dutch language with the most — right at the source!

About the Netherlands

  • Capital: The Constitution states that the capital is Amsterdam. However, the seat of government is in The Hague.
  • Population: 17.7 million
  • National Anthem: Het Wilhelmus (The Wilhelmus)
  • Most well-known companies from the Netherlands: The Netherlands is the lowest ranked team in Group D, but it is otherwise one of the most powerful countries in the world. Heineken, Unilever, Philips, IKEA, and Ahold Delhaize are among the many global companies headquartered here. Shell was also founded here though it’s now headquartered in the UK (h/t CDKA). The Netherlands is also known as one of the European Union’s tax havens, so major American companies also host their European headquarters in the country like Uber and Nike.
  • Attractions I would like to see in the Netherlands: I would like to go on a private boat tour along the historic city center of Amsterdam and see its four most notable canals: The Singel, Herengracht (Lords’ canal), Keizersgracht (Emperor’s canal), and Prinsengracht (Prince’s Canal) on a summer weekend afternoon.
  • Other things the Netherlands is known for to Americans: The Netherlands colonized what is now much of New York City and New York state in the 17th century. They are also known for their socially tolerant culture compared to most of the world, even western countries. Finally, the Netherlands is where the US ended the War of 1812 against the United Kingdom with the Treaty of Ghent* which was signed in 1814 and ratified in 1815. In short, the Netherlands is arguably the country with the strongest relationship with the United States, all things considered. And then, there are the klompen (wooden shoes), windmills and land reclamation.
  • Official Language: Dutch
  • What do Dutch people call their country? Nederland (Nay-dur-lahnt)
  • The first Dutchman or Dutchwoman I can think of: The Netherlands is one of the USA’s best friends, so I can think of many in sports, EDM or modeling. But outside of these areas, the first Dutchman I can think of is Marwan Kenzari. He played Jafar in the live-action version of Aladdin and some in social media called him ... “Hot Jafar.” Here is an interview of him going over his role in the recent Disney film.
  • What is a popular song in the Netherlands by Dutch artists? According to The Top 50 most played songs in the Netherlands on Spotify, “Van mij zijn” (Be Mine) by KATNUF is at No. 1 as of Sept. 2.

* Ghent is in Belgium today. Current-day Belgium didn’t exist until 1830 when it declared independence from the Netherlands.