Beringen resident Hans Vanwijn continues his basketball career at the Israeli (and European) top club Hapoul Holon. The club is located in the capital Tel Aviv, where Vanwijn has been staying since Thursday, about 100 kilometers from Gaza.
After breaking his contract with Gravelines Dunkirk at the beginning of November, the 4-player of the Belgian Lions was without a club for only four weeks. “There were some contacts here and there through my agent and they mainly came from abroad,” says Vanwijn. “Greece was one of the options at a certain point, but in the end that option was not concrete enough. I didn’t worry too much and took into account that I would be without a club until Christmas. But last week my agent informed me about the interest from Israel. Due to the war, quite a few foreign players left. That was also the case at Hapoel Holon, where an American and a French 4 player left the club.”
“Hapoel Holon is a club that is currently doing very well in Europe in the Champions League (Hapoel Holon is currently in the lead in group F with three wins from four matches, ed.). That helped determine my choice. Yesterday in Bosnia they won against Bursaspor, after a stunning last quarter. This will certainly allow us to move forward in Europe. If we win our next match against Bonn (with Roel Moors as coach, ed.) we will certainly be placed directly. Otherwise, there will be extra matches against the second or third of another group. For me it will be my fourth season in the Champions League. I had the opportunity to taste it before, both with Dijon and with the Antwerp Giants, and I won a bronze medal twice. With the Giants this was even in our own country, after a fantastic campaign with Roel Moors as coach.”
Without a family, with mom
“My family has stayed in Belgium for the time being, because you cannot control everything here during the first weeks. But it is relatively safe here and normal life goes on as usual here. An air raid siren may occasionally go off, but most people are already used to that. They told me where to take shelter in that case. I am currently staying in an apartment five minutes from the sports hall. My mother traveled here with me to bridge the first few weeks.”
“The new competition starts on Saturday with a home match against H. Afula. That’s when I normally make my debut. I will be training for the first time on Friday. Because I haven’t played any matches for one month, my previous injury feels much better. We’ll just have to wait and see how it evolves when the intensity is increased. Normally the hall can accommodate 5,000 to 6,000 supporters, but that is currently limited to 1,000. Maxime De Zeeuw wished me the best of luck. He told me that he also had good times here.” (guvo)