Camas alumnus and recent Western Washington University graduate Trevor Jasinsky was preparing for a trip to Amsterdam this summer with his family and girlfriend before COVID-19 derailed his vacation plans.
When Jasinsky’s flights were cancelled this spring, he never imagined he’d be rebooking so soon.
With more basketball shoes in tow than originally planned, Jasinsky boarded a flight Wednesday for the Netherlands after signing with Basketball Academie Limburg of the Dutch Basketball League, which begins its season in September.
“This isn’t the year to wait around,” Jasinsky said. “A lot of people who are really good hoopers are out of a job so I’m just really excited for the opportunity.”
BA Limburg was the only professional offer Jasinsky received after he averaged a team-best 14.8 points per game for the WWU Vikings last season. He’s anticipated to follow in the shoes of Federal Way’s Trey Burch-Manning (Todd Beamer High School), who averaged 14.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season for BA Limburg.
Jasinsky will play a similar power-forward position on the youthful academy club, of which Jasinsky is the second oldest player at 23.
“They want me to come over and be a leader,” said Jasinsky, who has heard positive things about the club from Burch-Manning. “It’s a very similar situation to what I had my last year in college, so I’m comfortable in that role.”
The last six months have been “a roller coaster” for Jasinsky. After the NCAA Division II Tournament was cancelled in March, Jasinsky, who graduated with a degree in marketing, was resigned to working out in his garage and hoping for his agent, Alvin Snow, to present him with a chance to play on a professional basketball team.
With most gyms closed amid coronavirus concerns, Jasinsky relied on his connections to get workouts in. Former WWU teammate Kyle Impero operates a training facility in Bellingham and Prairie grad Matthew Conboy opened his doors in Vancouver to Jasinsky.
“Those two guys I owe a ton,” said Jasinsky, who has trained twice a day the past several months. “A lot of people haven’t had that access so I’ve been really grateful.”
With few game-like scrimmages, Jasinsky has focused on “smoothing out” his game offensively while he waited on the call from his agent.
In July, he got his chance. Under more normal circumstances, Jasinsky might have gone to a workout in front of coaches or executives. Instead, Jasinsky was set up on a Zoom call with BA Limburg’s coach and chairman. As well-spoken and knowledgable about the game as Jasinsky is over the phone, it was the perfect opportunity for him to shine.
“When we had that conversation, it was kind of seamless,” Jasinsky said.
Jasinsky, who is allowed to travel on a work visa, will be tested and quarantined once he lands in the Netherlands. Once quarantine is over he’s excited to get accustomed to Dutch culture.
While the Netherlands will be new to Jasinsky, he’s no stranger to Europe. He lived in Geneva from sixth to eighth grade as his mom worked for Hewlett-Packard.
“That was one of the best experiences of my life,” Jasinsky proclaimed. “I loved being in a new culture, with new people and different ways of viewing the world. That’s why I’ve always wanted to get back overseas and basketball was a way to do that.”
More importantly, Jasinsky can now call himself a professional basketball player, a goal of his since he was 5 years old.
“I’ve always felt overlooked and underrecruited,” Jasinsky said. “I had one offer and it was this team. I’ve always said that one is all I need to make a name and prove myself. I’m excited to get to work.”
BA Limburg is based out of Weert in southeastern Netherlands and is one of nine clubs in the Dutch league, which will play without fans until a coronavirus vaccine is developed, The Guardian reported.