NBA Draft – Top 10 European prospects: Vrenz Bleijenbergh, the beloved Belgian (6/10)


A few days before the NBA draft, Basketball Europe presents the ten European prospects most likely to obtain the precious sesame: a selection among the 60 best young people of their generation. After Joël Ayayi, Usman Garuba, Neemias Queta and Ariel Hukporti, it’s time for Vrenz Bleijenbergh. A very tall exterior, the Belgian is a young player with great potential who has spent a long time under the radar. 13 NBA franchises recently met him ahead of the July 29 event, raising his rating at the best of times… The future steal of the 2021 draft?

Profile

They are rare and sought after… these players with very high potential capable of being able to evolve in almost all positions. Trained as an outdoor, Vrenz Bleijenbergh has grown well and now measures 2.08 m, which allows him to have exceptional ease for his size and to play as much on positions 3 and 2 as 4 or even 1 as he excels ball in hand despite its size. Very skilled on the move, the Antwerp Giant has developed a real skill in passing combined with his ability to shoot behind the arc and play on pick and roll. A natural versatility sought in the NBA while he had so far gone under the radar – for his second pro year, he proved himself in the Belgian championship as well as in the European Cup (10.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists in 27 minutes but also 9.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists for 9.2 evaluation in Eurocup) -, not part of any mock draft until the end current season. But since then, the Belgian rating has been rising, at least as much as the Mur de Huy.

The skinny winger (2.08m, 95kg) is certainly not the most prominent international prospect in this class, but his potential is great. As proof: the « Belgian unicorn » recently participated in … 13 workouts with NBA teams including San Antonio, Milwaukee, Toronto, Dallas, New Orleans, Atlanta, Charlotte, Sacramento, New York, Memphis, OKC or Chicago. Two thirds of the teams were able to discuss with him, which is colossal and extremely positive for his chances because he comes from a team with little exposure. His reputation is therefore clearly growing at the best of times. At the time of writing, the Giants winger has a good chance of becoming the second Belgian to be drafted after Axel Hervelle in 2005 (by the Denver Nuggets in 52nd position). He dreams of becoming the second player. from his country to play in the big league after DJ Mbenga who played there (2004-2011) without being drafted.

ID card
Job : 3/4/2
Cut : 2.08 m
Date of birth (place) : October 14, 2000 (Brasschaat)
Nationality : Belgian
Team : Giants d’Anvers (Belgium)
Statistics 2020-2021 : 10.2 points (at 37.4%), 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.4 interceptions for 12.4 evaluation in 27 minutes in the Belgian league, 9.4 points (at 43.4 %), 3.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists for 9.2 evaluation in Eurocup

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Photo: Vrenz Bleijenbergh (FIBA)

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