Belgian Players Abroad (2023-’24): Power Ranking (November 2023)

Vrenz Bleijenbergh with two hands for safety.
  1. Vrenz Bleijenbergh – Merkezefendi (TUR – D1):
    • Rating: 62.9
    • Stats: 9 Games, 8.4 ppg, 65.4% 2Pts, 26.8% 3Pts, 75% FTs, 5.6 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.4 spg, 0.7 bpg, 33.4 mpg
    • In his first season with Merkezefendi in Turkey Vrenz Bleijenbergh is really showcasing his all-rounded capabilities, performing at a very high level on both sides of the court. Unfortunately his performances haven’t translated to wins yet, as the team is holding a 1-8 record and is currently last in the standings. He has started 8 out of his 9 games played so far and had his best scoring output in a loss against Tofas when he finished with 19 points.
  2. Vincent Kesteloot – Heidelberg (GER – D1):
    • Rating: 62.1
    • Stats: 7 Games, 12.4 ppg, 66.7% 2Pts, 27.8% 3Pts, 75% FTs, 4.0 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.1 bpg, 26.0 mpg
    • In his second season with Heidelberg in the German Bundesliga Vincent Kesteloot continues to be the man in the right place and is the team’s leading scorer with his 12.4 ppg. He had his best scoring output in the season-opener against Alba Berlin when he scored 20 points. Unfortunately Heidelberg is struggling so far and is only 15th in the Standings (out of 18 teams) with a 2-6 record.
  3. Ismael Bako – Unics Kazan (RUS – VTB):
    • Rating: 61.9
    • Stats: 11 Games, 7.8 ppg, 76.1% 2Pts, 76.2 FTs, 5.0 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.5 spg, 1.5 bpg, 21.2 mpg
    • Ismael Bako made the move from Italy to Russia this past off-season where he is currently competing in the VTB United League with Unics Kazan. Bako has seen his playing time increase significantly compared to last season and has started in 10 of his 11 games, leading the team in blocks, while he’s also 3rd on the team in rebounds. He had his best game so far in a win against Astana when he finished with the 10 points & 12 rebounds Double-Double, while also blocking 5 shots in 26 minutes of action. Currently Unics Kazan is second in the league in the standings with a 8-3 record.
  4. Toumani Camara – Portland Trail Blazers (USA – NBA):
    • Rating: 56.4
    • Stats: 15 Games, 6.1 ppg, 48.9% 2Pts, 25% 3Pts, 72% FTs, 4.5 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.9 bpg, 25.7 mpg
    • As only the second Belgian to ever make it into the NBA, Toumani Camara is so far significantly outperforming his predecessor (Didier Mbenga) and is quickly turning into a fan-favorite at Portland. His tenacious defense and his hard work has seen him inserted into the starting line-up in his last 6 games, culminating in his best game so far this season in a win against Utah when Camara went for 12 Points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. All season-highs. His solid all-around game hasn’t yet translated to wins however as Portland currently holds a 4-11 record and is only 13th in the Western Conference.
  5. Retin Obasohan – Tortona (ITA – D1 / Champions League):
    • Rating: 55.5
    • Stats: 7 Games, 9.3 ppg, 47.5% 2Pts, 23.1% 3Pts, 75% FTs, 3.3 rpg, 3.4 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.7 bpg, 23.9 mpg
    • For his 8th season as a pro Retin Obasohan has moved from France to Italy, where his professional career started back in 2016, signing with Tortona this off-season. At Tortona Obasohan continues to provide his usual agressiveness and athleticism to help the team to a 4-4 record in the Italian first division, good for 9th place in the standings, while also helping them to a 3-0 record in Group H in the Champions League. It’s actually in the Champions League that Obasohan has had his best game of the season so far when he went for 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists & 1 block in the win against Murcia.
  6. Elias Lasisi – Heidelberg (GER – D1):
    • Rating: 54.7
    • Stats: 8 Games, 10.5 ppg, 70.6% 2Pts, 39.5% 3Pts, 90% FTs, 2.3 rpg, 2.1 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.1 bpg, 29 mpg
    • Just Like Vincent Kesteloot, Elias Lasisi seems to have settled nicely at Heidelberg in the German Bundesliga where he is the de facto starting swingman in his second season with the club. With his 10.5 ppg Lasisi is currently 5th on the team in scoring. He had his best outing so far in the early season in a loss against Bamberg when he scored a season-high 26 points on 9/11 shooting, including 6/8 from behind the arc.
  7. Tim Lambrecht – Neptunas (LTU – D1):
    • Rating: 53.0
    • Stats: 10 Games, 7.5 ppg, 74.4% 2Pts, 10.7% 3Pts, 100% FTs, 5.0 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.5 bpg, 27.9 mpg
    • In his second season in Lithuania Tim Lambrecht has found a new home as he came over from KK Nevezis to join Neptunas where he has started in each of his 10 games played so far. Even though his numbers are down compared to last season, his impact on the court for Neptunas is undeniable as he’s 3rd on the team in rebounding, 2nd in assists and 2nd in steals. He has helped Neptunas to a 4-6 record so far, good for 7th place in the LKL standings.
  8. Thomas De Thaey – Terrafirma DYIP (PHI – D1):
    • Rating: 49.7
    • Stats: 3 Games, 19.3 ppg, 41.3% 2Pts, 50% 3Pts, 93.3% FTs, 11.7 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.3 bpg, 37.7 mpg
    • Thomas De Thaey is back in action after injury issues this past season and has found a new home in Asia, as he joined Terrafirma DYIP in the Philippines as the second Belgian to ever compete in the PBA (again it was Didier Mbenga who went there before him). The league seems to suit him as he has recorded 2 Double-Doubles in his 3 games played so far, including a 23 points & 16 rebounds performance in the win at NLEX Road Warriors. At the moment Terrafirma DYIP holds a 2-2 record and is 9th in the standings.
  9. Michael Gilmore – P.A.O.K. (GRE – D1 / Champions League):
    • Rating: 48.1
    • Stats: 10 Games, 6.3 ppg, 57.1% 2Pts, 45.8% 3Pts, 50% FTs, 5.6 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.4 bpg, 17.6 mpg
    • The US/Belgian forward Michael Gilmore moved from Sweden to Greece this off-season as he signed with P.A.O.K. where he now competes in the Greek first division and the Champions League. So far he has had his best performances in the Champions League for them as he recorded a 20 points and 5 rebounds performance in the win at Galatasaray, helping them to a 2-1 record and the first spot in Group G. In the tough Greek championship his team currently holds a 4-4 record, good for 7th place.
  10. Thijs De Ridder – Bilbao (ESP – D1 / FIBA Europe Cup):
    • Rating: 38.5
    • Stats: 16 Games, 4.5 ppg, 52.1% 2Pts, 33.3% 3Pts, 72.7% FTs, 3.1 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.4 spg, 0.4 bpg, 13.4 mpg
    • After his stellar season with Antwerp in the BNXT league this past season, the newly minted Belgian Youngster of the Year and BNXT Sixth Man of the Year Thijs De Ridder broadened his horizons and signed a 3-year deal with Bilbao in the Spanish Championship. I believe it is safe to say that so far it has been a benificial move for both parties as De Ridder has shown to be a solid addition, coming off the bench. So far he has had his best game in the Europe Cup win against CSU Sibiu where he scored a season-high 13 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, along with 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block in only 19 minutes of action. Bilbao currently has a 4-7 record and holds the 13th spot in the Spanish League, while they are 6-0 for 1st spot in Group B in the Europe Cup.
Thijs De Ridder now banging in the paint in Spain.

11) Stan Leemans – Swiss Central (SUI – D2): 36.1 / 12) Andy Van Vliet – Trefl Sopot (POL – D1): 33.6 / 13) Loic Schwartz – Saint-Quentin (FRA – D1): 31.3 / 14) Xavier-Robert François – Residence (LUX – D1): 30.8 / 15) Jonathan Dubas – Vevey (SUI – D1): 30.7 / 16) Vukan Samardzic – Charilaos (GRE – D2): 26.8 / 17) Thomas Akyazili – Pinar Karsiyaka (TUR – D1): 26.2 / 18) Mamadou Guisse – Vichy (FRA – D2): 25.1 / 19) Ayuba Bryant – Bourg (FRA – D1): 24.0 / 20) Alan Kikwaki – Neustadt (GER – D4): 17.8 / 21) Justin Kohajda – Shumen (BUL – D1): 14.4 / 22) James Potier – Xiria (ESP – D4): 11.4 / 23) Matteo Strikker – Huelva Com. (ESP – D3): -8.1 / 24) Nicolas Hittelet – Grengewald (LUX – D1): -9.1 / 25) Terence Kekenbosch – Joventut 2 (ESP – D4): -10.8 / 26) Aaron Ona Embo – Real Madrid 2 (ESP – D4): -17 /

No Rating Yet: Benjamin Janssens – Badajoz (ESP – D4)

  • The Ratings are calculated based on their stats and the level of competition they compete in, as well as the amount of wins and losses they have.

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