Former Tabor center signs with European pro team

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TCmDeBoerP3280647.jpg
Former Tabor College post Martin de Boer rips a rebound away from an opponent during a contest against Central Methodist University in January 2005. De Boer recently signed to play basketball professionally with Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Click image to enlarge

Former Tabor College standout Martin de Boer recently signed to play basketball professionally with a team in The Netherlands provincial capital of Rotterdam.

De Boer transferred to Tabor from Cloud County Community College in fall 2004 and made a huge impact on the 2005 Bluejays.

Standing 6 feet, 7 inches, de Boer led the team in rebounding, averaging more than five per game and was the squad?s third-leading scorer, averaging over 10 points.

At 250 pounds, he was immediately recognized as ?one of the strongest men we?ll see all year? by then-coach Don Brubacher.

Brubacher called his combination of size and skill ?unusual? for the KCAC level, as de Boer clearly possessed superior ball-handling, passing, shooting and defensive skills.

?It really is his combination of size and skill?the ball skills of a 2 (shooting guard) and his body that would get any team interested,? Brubacher said on Monday.

It is that combination of skills that de Boer has put on display in city leagues and tournaments around Kansas City and Lawrence for the past two years.

De Boer is not the first Brubacher-coached player to play professionally overseas, but likely faces stiffer competition than his predecessors.

On a three-week trip to England and Holland in June, de Boer worked out for several teams.

When Leiden, de Boer?s summer league team, met Amsterdam, someone in the Rotterdam organization noticed the former Bluejay.

?After a meeting with the owner and the coach, I decided it was a great opportunity for me to grow as a player and help the team in anyway that I can to take that next step to a championship season,? de Boer said.

This is deBoer?s first professional season, and his first overseas.

?It will be a new and exciting experience, and I am fortunate to be playing in a country where my relatives live.?

De Boer expects to make a smooth transition with help from friends and family.

?I love to travel, and it will be an experience of a lifetime,? he said.

But even half a globe away, de Boer?s skill-set still has him pegged for a role similar to the one he played during his brief stint in Hillsboro.

?My role on the team is one of experience and leadership,? he said. ?I will be looked at as a scoring threat as well as a defensive stopper.

?I?m looking forward to getting the season started.?

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