The American needed time to warm up to the Bundesliga basketball team in Chemnitz. Which sounds strange, because that was also due to the high temperatures this summer. But in the last test games, the shooting guard showed what he can do – as a preparer and enforcer.
Indoor sports have a big advantage: they can be played even in the most adverse weather conditions. The disadvantage, however, is that you have to train indoors even when it is tropically hot outside. Just like in mid-August, when the Niners Chemnitz started preparing for the new season. Rodrigo Pastore, head coach of the Bundesliga basketball team, sometimes (of necessity) loosened the reins a little and canceled one or two afternoon sessions because of the heat in the Feel Good Club training center. In general, he followed through with his program.
From Estonia to the Saxon heat
One person who particularly suffered from this was Wesley Van Beck. The 27-year-old is one of five new additions to the Niners so far this summer. He came from BC Kalev from Estonia, with whom the American won the national championship last season and reached the semi-finals of the Fiba Europe Cup. The 1.93 meter tall three-point specialist began his career in Houston, Texas, played in Mallorca from 2021 and in Estonia from 2022. “The heat in the first few days here in Chemnitz reminded me of my home in Texas. That was really intense,” he looks back on the first days in Chemnitz. “I didn’t expect it to be so hot here. But I eventually got used to it and it’s okay now.”
Acclimatization is what Van Beck has done very well since his arrival in Chemnitz a month ago. And that doesn’t just mean the weather. The rather quiet basketball professional has also fitted in very well with the newly formed team, which already makes a tight-knit impression after such a short time together. This is particularly evident on the field. After he completely disappeared in the first test match against first division team Würzburg (zero points in the 79:86 defeat), Van Beck turned things up in the next three test games. He scored 17 points in the 104:71 against second division team Nuremberg and 13 in the 94:85 against Rostock. And in the clear 97:76 win on Wednesday evening at Mitteldeutscher BC in Weißenfels, the shooting guard was even the Niners’ best scorer with 21 points.
The team is in very good early form
Especially with throws from a distance and with final passes (in Weißenfels, Van Beck hit all five two-point throws, half of his six three-point attempts and had four strong assists), the American proved that he is ice-cold and calm despite the heat in Germany could keep hands. “The team works very well together. It’s really fun to be on the field with the boys,” he explains his improvement in performance.
But it wasn’t just Van Beck – the entire Chemnitz team improved more and more in the test games. It appears harmonious, athletic, intelligent – and ready for big tasks. The first of these awaits on September 27th, when the Niners play the opening game of the new Bundesliga season at German champions Ratiopharm Ulm. Before that there is one last test match – next Thursday behind closed doors against league rivals Oldenburg.
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