16 - 24
July 2016
12 Tim Daniel Lambrecht (BEL)
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Lambrecht happy to draw attention to Belgian hoops

OOSTENDE (FIBA U20 European Championship 2016) - Tim Lambrecht is not a well-known name in the world of basketball. But the forward is hoping to confirm talent observers' praise with a strong performance for Belgium at the FIBA U20 European Championship 2016

Lambrecht is ranked as a top-15 talent in the 1998-born generation by multiple scouting services and the Oostende youngster is happy to have the attention on him and his country.

"It's a good thing to be recognised in Europe. It is good to be in a ranking like that," Lambrecht said. "We don't get a lot of recognition in Belgium, so it's good for me to be in the picture a little bit."

Tim Lambrecht's inside-outside game makes him a highly-rated prospect.

The soft-spoken Leuven-native is a 2.05m forward who can play both forward positions, shoot well and drive to the basket. Lambrecht admits his defence is still a "real weak point", and the fact that he's not strong enough yet leads taller opposing players to post him up a lot.

Lambrecht grew up attending games of Ooostende as a young fan and one of the players he looked up to was Belgian international Matt Lojeski

"I always liked watching Lojeski. I always wanted to play like him. Even though I was tall I tried to play like him and copy his moves."

Tim Lambrecht looked up to Matt Lojeski (right) when he was growing up.

Lambrecht will get a chance to prove himself at the FIBA U20 European Championship in Helsinki as he plays two years up, teaming up with the 1996 and 1997 generations to play in his first Division A tournament.

"It will be a great experience because I've never played Division A before, always playing Division B at U16s (in 2014) and U18 (2015)," said Lambrecht, who made his professional debut this past season for Oostende. "But this year they asked me to play U20 and it will be a great opportunity for me - also for experience. I hope I can contribute something even being two years younger." 

Lambrecht was the star of the Belgian team last summer at the FIBA U18 European Championship Division B, averaging 11.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks. 

While Lambrecht knows most of his U20 team-mates from the Belgian U21 league, he has a good relationship with Sami Demirtas and Roby Rogiers, who both also play with the Oostende club. 

Lambrecht also knows that Belgium will have a tough challenge in their second summer in Division A at U20 level, as they face Italy, Sweden and Czech Republic in Group D in Helsinki. 

"It's gonna be a pretty tough group for us but there's always a chance and we're going to try our best," he said. "That first game (against Sweden) is definitely going to be hard. It will be good for us to see how we are shaping up."

When asked about the team's objective in Helsinki, Lambrecht said: "We want to go and play for a medal. We know it will be hard. But if that doesn't work then we will work hard to stay in Division A. But I think we can definitely go for a medal."

Tim Lambrecht will be playing his first Division A European Championship.

One of the keys to the team, Lambrecht said, is its guard play.

"Thomas Akyazili played last year and will be a big factor for the team, also the overall speed of our guards and aggressive on-the-ball defence. That will help us a lot," Lambrecht said. "The pressure we can put on the court will make it hard for other teams to play against us. We also have good one-on-one capabilities."

Lambrecht hopes a strong performance in Helsinki can help make more people aware of Belgian basketball.

"Belgium is not really known for basketball, but it's starting to get bigger. Most clubs are starting to do better in Europe, the national team as well," he said. "The Belgian Federation is just doing a good job in making basketball bigger in the country. It's getting better."