A fairytale, is the least we can say when we think of this 2,21 giant that has come out for The Netherlands, developing currently under the tutelage of Diego Ocampo (head coach of Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt) competing in the German BBL seeking out their former glory days.
Matt Haarms originally hails from Amsterdam, The Netherlands and has had his humble beginnings at the basketball club Harlemlakers situated in Amsterdam’s westside.
As a young player Matt’s passion for the game was ever-present and that has led him to pursue his goal of making it first to Sunrise Academy, Kansas and then to the NCAA and playing for powerhouse colleges (Purdue and BYU).
His skill set as a big
As a developing big man, Matt Haarms has much more than just raw talent.
He is a hard worker that is humble and that reflects in his game play.
As a big he has certain big man moves that come in and seem as cliche but should not be overlooked.
While obvious physical attributes contribute to his above-average blocking ability one very uncanny and positive note we see in his defensive game play is that he is quick with his reaction times and at points reminds us of how the great Dikembe Mutombo would react, both close to the basket and cause opposing teams to be threatened by his presence.
Aside from the above-mentioned cliche skill set, Haarms having played at a high pace NCAA college teams has been able to hone in on what we think is a skill that translates well into the Euroball style of play. As you can see from the above cuts Drive defense is not easy for bigs with size to move around and with Haarms’ agility and quick response time it allows him to have an upper hand on bigs that likely do not expect him to bite at drives that can be a direct line of contact yet he fairs extremely well in terms of covering all kinds of players.
AREAS OF DEVELOPMENT
During the time frame that Matt Haarms has played college basketball one offensive threat that he has in his arsenal has been in a way not well developed so far. As a potential big that can do so many things well his overall shooting ability.
As a big playing the postup is by far a part of his go to tendencies in his arsenal
Aside from the above all too well with his around the rim to mid-range game is dominated by a short hook, floater combination that allows him to make use again of that physical attribute of quickness that he has.
So the kicker actually is that as a big he has a very high potential of being able to make three-pointers however due to the cliche nature of his play style in college he has not gotten the looks that he would likely like to get to be able to convert the opportunity. However as a budding big in his first year playing proball in Europe and in a league such as the German BBL, he should be able to find the space to potentially develop this part of his game.
Again just to prove a point in college during his first 9 games of the last season he played at BYU, he managed to take a total of 18 attempts from behind the three-point line whereas currently with the Skyliners he only has attempted 1 shot. We do hope to see an increase in this area from Haarms in the development of his game.
Its inevitable that Haarms has a bright future to say nonetheless. Aside from a stellar NCAA past already, his pro career so far has been a good starting point for him. A curiosity we have is how he can make a difference with the Dutch National Men’s team. Haarms can bring in a big difference to the already developing Dutch NMT program that are going to be facing some tough competition with the Eurobasket strides this season during the FIBA windows.
We’d like to last but not least attract your attention to the following:
One thing overall that should be seen as a point of improvement is the PPP average per game that has gone up.
The numbers for Haarms tell only a part of his story, again his work ethic and his ambition to be good at what he does will make him stand out as a modern day big as he keeps on developing.