In aanloop naar de competitieopening, zaterdag thuis tegen Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden, spraken we met de man met rugnummer 32: Keyshawn Woods. De 23-jarige, 1,92 meter lange Amerikaan liep tijdens de oefencampagne een blessure op, maar is inmiddels weer helemaal fit. En hij heeft er zin in.
Do you already feel at home in Rotterdam?
“I wouldn’t really say at home yet, but I’m definitely starting to feel more comfortable.”
Do you already have a favorite place in Rotterdam? Except for the Topsportcentrum…
“I like the city center as a whole. Not really one specific spot or area. I like to go shopping, or just walk around.”
you think about Holland so far?
“There’s a lot of cultural diversity. Many different types of grocery stores. Apart from the normal stores there’s Turkish or Chines ones for example. And everything is much smaller here. Especially cars.”
you like to do besides basketball?
“Chill with family or friends. And I like to read books and watch Netflix.”
Who inspires you in your life?
“Kobe Bryant, because of his work ethic, skill set and because he always wants to win. My father is also really important to me. I often talk to him for advice, and he doesn’t sugarcoat things. He always tells me the truth, and he’s always there for me.”
have a motto you live by?
“Proving myself right. Most people want to prove other people wrong or right. For me, it’s more about knowing what I can do. The only person I want to prove anything to, is myself. That’s also something my father taught me.”
your specialty on court?
“The pull-up and stepback are among my favorite moves. And I can score on all three levels: three pointer, midrange and 1 on 1. I also like to pass the ball to my teammates. And take charges.”
your personal goals for this season?
“It’s my first season as a pro baller. I want to improve myself in all aspects. Together with my teammates, I’m really looking forward to making people forget last season. As a team, we want to win as many games as possible. Especially from the traditional top four.”
is the first game of the season against Leiden. What do you know about them?
“That they play a 2-3 matchup zone defense, and that they’re very athletic and fast. And that they like to go for the steal.”
you think the chances are against Leiden coming Saturday, based on the
“I think the preseason was very useful to us. European basketball is very physical. Of course we weren’t complete due to several injuries in the team. We have to play the cards we’ve been dealt and I think we’ve been doing that well. We will play our own game. Play good defense. It’s going to be very interesting to see where we stand compared to other teams. But ultimately, it will be a 50-50 chance to beat them.”