After an illustrious five-year CIS career, Abbotsford basketball star Jacob Doerksen has signed a professional contract with Germany’s UBC (United Basketball Club) Tigers Hannover of the Bundesliga ProB.
The Rick Hansen Secondary grad, arguably the greatest player in Trinity Western University men’s basketball history, fielded a couple of offers throughout the summer but ultimately decided to join the Tigers. The ProB league is the third highest level of professional basketball in Germany, behind Bundesliga ProA and the country’s top league, the BBL (Basketball Bundesliga).
“The unknown is the most exciting part,” Doerksen said from Hannover. “I came over here with very few details and everyday so far is a new experience with new challenges. I have pretty much been dropped in a foreign country with an apartment and a job. It is surreal indeed.”
Doerksen, who on the UBC Tigers website seems to be going by the nickname “Canadian Beast,” joins the German squad after a university career that saw him named to the Canada West all-star team in each and every season he played, named the CIS Rookie of the Year in 2006 and the CIS Player of the Year in 2009.
“Basketball has allowed me to do things I probably would not have been able to do,” Doerksen said. “Turning pro has allowed me to live in and explore Europe and I am very thankful for this opportunity.”
While Doerksen has yet to play a game with his new team – the Tigers’ first league game is Saturday, Sept. 24 when they play the Wolfenbüttel Dukes – he’s confident he’ll fit into the team well.
And fortunately for Doerksen, Tigers head coach Michael Mai, who was formerly the European Director of the Christian organization News Release Basketball, is American. So training is in English.
“Practices have been going well,” Doerksen said. “Our team will be good and I will certainly have to earn my playing time, but usually imports do get more minutes. We are expected to be one of the top teams in the league this year.
“And if I was to guess, I would think the level of play would be similar to the CIS. The game is very different though than the banging and battling found in the CIS. The first thing I noticed is the European guys will use the pump fake like six times in a row.”