Former Tabor center signs with European pro team

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.?