European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Getting to know: Mikhail Linskens (Belgium)

January 8th, 2008 · No Comments

In our series about “unknown” European NCAA prospects, we will talk today about the Belgian Center Mikhail Linskens.

Mikhail (2m13 tall and born in 1987) actually plays for the Wyoming Cowboys in his Freshman year. But he can tell us by himself how he arrived there.

I started playing basketball at the age of eleven with a small team called BBC Bredene. After two years of playing basketball, I signed with the best youth team (at that time) in Belgium, it was the youth team of Division 1 team Telindus Oostende. I played there for 5 years. Than in 2005-2006, I signed with a division 3 team, KBBC Oostkamp, to get some experience to play against older and more physical players. The following year I signed as an amateur with a division 1 team, Atomia Brussels and I resigned with KBBC Oostkamp. I practiced 4 times a week with Atomia Brussels and was sitting on the bench during the games. I practiced also 2 times a week with KBBC Oostkamp and played all games with them (there is where I got my playing minutes). During that last year I realized that I was not ready to actually play a lot of minutes in division 1…

I also play since 2003 with my youth national team (U16-U18-U20) and I was selected to participate in Basketball Without Borders camp in 2003 and 2004 in Treviso, Italy.

So I was looking to move to the NCAA. Wyoming found out about me due that I play with my national team in the European championships and the assistant coach of Atomia Brussels knew one of the coaches of Wyoming and told him that I wanted to go to the USA. They were interested and contacted me personally and they were very enthusiastic. I also had some offers from other colleges, but I thought that Wyoming had the best program, so I chose Wyoming… (and I still think this was the best choice)

So what type of player are you right now? What are your forces and weaknesses?

My forces are that I can pass and shoot the ball pretty well for a big man (I can shoot the 3 and I can shoot mid distance shots pretty easy). Another force is that I have some good post moves.
But this is not enough to play a lot in first division, because I have also my weaknesses. I am pretty slow and I am not tough and strong enough beneath the rim.
And that is the main reason that I signed with the university of Wyoming. Because here I believe that I can develop myself and prepare myself to play professionally. And for now I am thinking that I made the right move to come to Wyoming. I have progressed a lot in my weaknesses. They have a very good program. Since I have arrived here, I lost 30 pounds and I gained a lot of muscle, my footwork is much better and I run the floor much better now. And I have been here only 5 months, so I believe that if I stay here long enough, I will be ready to play professional.

What are your plans for the future in Basketball?

I don’t really know how my future in basketball really looks like. It all depends on my progression in the next 4 years…

Thank you Mikhail for your thoughts and good luck for the future.

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