It will be a historic day for Netherlands wheelchair basketball on Wednesday 28 March. International Anton de Rooij will play his seven hundredth game for his country, a milestone – as far as is known, which no other Dutch top athlete has achieved.
Anton de Rooij broke his back in 1986 during a motocross race, during the rehabilitation in Rehabilitation center De Hoogstraat in Leersum he first came into contact with wheelchair basketball. He played his very first competition for the Dutch men’s team in 1989 and since the 50-year-old de Rooij has participated in four Paralympic Summer Games of 1992, 1996, 2004 and 2016.
Throughout his career, de Rooij has won, Paralympic gold (Barcelona) and silver (Sydney). He also became a European Champion with his team in 1993.
The achievement will be celebrated with an international match between the Netherlands men’s team and Japan. The duel will take place in the Merwestein sports and events complex in Nieuwegein.
The international match against Japan is also the kick-off of the practice campaign of the Netherlands men’s wheelchair basketball team on its way to the World Championships in Germany next summer. The Orange Lions, who finished fourth in the last European Championship, will compete in the World Championships from 16 to 26 August in Hamburg. The team has been drawn into a group with reigning world champions Australia, Argentina and Spain, who won silver at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The game starts at 19.30, prior to this, The Netherlands Men’s Head Coach Cees Van Rootselaar and his colleague Gertjan van der Linden, the national coach of Dutch women, will provide a preview and give an explanation of the rules of the game of wheelchair basketball. That session, as well as the international match, can be accessed free of charge.
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Information and wording provided by Nederlandse Basketball Bond