Traditionally we at TIB publish a little overview at the start of each season discussing the Belgian Players who will be playing abroad. We do this in three seperate categories:
- Belgian Players Abroad in which we discuss the Belgian professional players abroad.
- Belgian Youngsters Abroad in wich we discuss the Belgian youngsters (born in 1999 or later).
- Belgian Student-Athletes in the USA in wich we discuss the Belgian youngsters who have decided to continue their development in the US education system.
With the global pandemic causing havoc for all basketball competitions this season the regular schedules have been blown to bits and we have some competitions that have already started, while others are only now beginning their preparations. Because of this it is quite possible that we will miss some players in these early overviews. But rest assured, we will correct those during the season.
With that said, let’s get this overview of the Belgian Youngsters Abroad started.
- Robbe Janssens (Zamorano – D3). 20 year old Shooting Guard Janssens last played in Belgium during the 2017-’18 season when he competed for Guco Lier in the Belgian Third Division. The following season he then signed up with the renowned Canarias Basketball Academy in Spain and followed it up with a season with Leon, competing in the Spanish EBA (4th Division). At Leon he played a total of 19 games and averaged 7.9 ppg & 1.9 rpg. This off-season he made the move to Zamorano in the Spanish LEB Silver (3rd Division).
- Vincent Gielen (Zentro Basket – D3). 20 year old big man Gielen left the Antwerp Giants last year to move abroad as he signed with Zentro Basket Madrid who were then competing in the Spanish EBA. In 20 total games for them he averaged a very solid 12.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg & 1.3 apg. Solid enough to earn him a new contract with Zentro Basket as they moved up to the LEB Silver competition for this season.
- Joël Ekamba (Monaco – D1, Espoirs). 19 year old swingman Ekamba was an early-entry candidate for the 2020 NBA draft which will be held in November. In the meantime he got himself a new contract with Monaco where he will split his time between the first team in the French First Division and their U21 team in the strong Espoirs championship. The previous season Ekamba competed for Limoges in the Espoirs league for his first season abroad after passing through the AWBB Academy and Mons-Hainaut. At Limoges he played a total of 11 games and averaged 12.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.2 apg & 0.9 spg.
- Mamadou Guissé (Vichy – D2). The 18 year old Forward has been turning heads ever since he moved to Vichy for the 2018-’19 season and became the second best scorer in the French U18 championship with an average of 22.5 ppg. Following his excellent season with the U18 team Vichy quickly gave him his spot in their second senior team while he also started practicing with their first team (D2) and even played 2 games for them in ProB. This season the Antwerp-native will now be a full-time member of their first team in the French ProB and has already competed in 3 games for them in the ProB Leaders Cup, averaging 7.0 ppg & 2.0 rpg.
- Nathan Missia-Dio (Limoges – Espoirs). Despite still only being 15 years old Forward Missia-Dio is already entering his second season playing for Limoges in the Espoirs Championship after he left the AWBB Academy in 2019. Last season at Limoges he played in 7 games and averaged 1.7 ppg & 1.4 rpg. Missia-Dio was also a member of the U16 Belgian National Team in the summer of 2019.
- Thomas Van Ounsem (Bordeaux – D3). After 5 seasons in the French Espoirs league the 21 year old Van Ounsem will now start his professional career with Bordeaux in the French 3rd Division. Since leaving the AWBB Academy back in 2017 the Forward has spent 2 seasons at Antibes, followed by 3 seasons at Bourg. In his last season with Bourg, Van Ounsem played a total of 26 games in which he averaged 15.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.1 apg & 1.4 spg.
- Giuliano Neri (Le Mans JALT – D4). After 4 seasons playing for the U21 team with Antibes the now 21 year old Guard will start his professional career in the French 4th Division with Le Mans. Last season Neri was already part of the First Team of Antibes, competing in the French 2nd Division but unfortunately for him didn’t get any playing time other than 3 games in the ProB Leaders Cup. At Le Mans Neri should receive plenty of playing time this season and get himself noticed again.
- Younes Boukichou (Gravelines – Youth). The 16 year old younger brother of Khalid Boukichou made the move this off-season from the AWBB Academy to the youth team of Gravelines where he will attempt to get a few call-ups to the U21 team.
- Milo Hautekeet (Gravelines – Youth). Hautekeet is another 16 year old youngster coming from the AWBB Academy who has moved to Gravelines this off-season to further develop his game.
- Ayuba Bryant (Gravelines – Youth). The third Belgian youngster to compete at Gravelines this season is 15 year old Ayuba Bryant who enters his second season with the club. Originally from Antwerp the left-handed shooter was a dominant presence with the Gravelines U15 team last season as he averaged 21.8 ppg and got called up to compete for their U18 team on several occasions. He was also called up to compete with the U16 Belgian National team this summer but unfortunately all tournaments were suspended due to the global pandemic.
- Pierre Hajjar (Antibes – Youth). After 8 years at the Phoenix Brussels Talent Academy 15 year old Hajjar left the Belgian capital this off-season to sign with Antibes where he will compete with their youth team.
- Cedric Dedecker (Aris Leeuwarden – D1). The 20 year old Guard left Belgium in 2019 when he joined DME Academy (USA) before he signed a contract with Leeuwarden in the Dutch 1st Division where he remains this season. In 19 games last season he averaged 6.6 ppg, 1.3 rpg & 2.2 apg.
This concludes my overview of the Belgian Youngsters Abroad. My Overview of Belgian Players Abroad can be found here and my overview of the Belgian Student-Athletes in the USA is still coming up soon. If I have missed anyone in these overviews please let me know so that I can add him to our ‘To watch’ list.