Jason Dourisseau, “I take pride in trying to stop my man on defense”

Jason Dourisseau, “I take pride in trying to stop my man on defense” – Aug 23, 2011

“Een oud interview met Jason Dourisseau, nadat hij gisteren aangaf dat zijn contract bij powerhouse Donar niet zou worden verlengd.

I finally spoke with the ‘MVP’ of last season, GasTerra Flames Jason Dourisseau (196-G-83, college: Nebraska) a day ago. We talked in this interview about last season, his tought’s about a complete new team this upcoming season and his third year in Groningen.
He came to Groningen as a pure ‘employee’, but now Jason Dourisseau has become ‘one of us’, the fans are in love with him, and serenade him, singing ‘MVP’.
The last two seasons Jason has won everything with the Flames such as a Championship and a Dutch Cup, was named MVP and Defensive player of the year of the DBL.

Last season was somewhat bittersweet for you: GasTerra Flames didn’t get the title it wanted, but you were chosen as MVP of the league. What kind of lasting impact did that remarkable season have for you?
Last year was bittersweet, you’re right. It was very hard to lose game 7 of the finals, especially the way we lost. It was a great game to play in, but probably the hardest loss I’ve ever experienced. Winning the MVP was a great honor, but I would’ve much rather had the championship. However, it felt good knowing that I had the respect of my peers in this league. That’s probably the biggest thing I took away from it.

Jason, you extended your contract with the Flames until 2012. Have you found a home with GasTerra Flames?
I love it here in Groningen, but you never know what the future holds. I take things one season at a time.

What do you like in Groningen?
I love everything in Groningen. The city is great. The people are very nice here. But the number one thing I love about this place is the fans and playing in front of them. They love basketball here, and if you play hard for them, they show you a lot of love.

And what you don’t like about Groningen?
There really isn’t too much not to like. Traffic can be a bit hectic sometimes, but other than that, it’s pretty cool.

Back to basketball. This summer brought multiple changes to the team. How was the period of adaption between newcomers, holdovers and the coach?
We have a had a lot of changes, and we’re adjusting to each other now. We have a new system to learn with the exception of Avis and Sergio, as they’ve played in this system before, but everyone is working hard so we can gel as fast as possible.

What are the main differences for you in the new GasTerra Flames under Hakim Salem, a coach you knew from competing against his team last year?
The main difference so far under Hakim is philosophies, especially offensively. Other than that, both coaches I’ve had here are very intense and demanding, which I think is important to the success of any team. Hakim did a great job last year in Amsterdam, and I’m excited to play for him.

You are one of the leaders on this Flames team. Are you guys comfortable looking ahead this year and saying the goal is the Playoff Finals?
I think every team starts the year off with that goal. But to answer your question, yes, the playoff finals is where we want to be. We know it won’t be easy, but we feel like we have enough to reach the final, and hopefully win it this year.

Would reaching the Playoff Finals, which would be Flames third

one in a row, be enough?
Like I said earlier, our goal is to win it. That’s what we are competing for.

Jason, what in your playing philosophy makes you such a great defender?
I take pride in trying to stop my man on defense. It was instilled in me by my college coach. I have good length and I’m pretty quick on my feet for someone my size, so that allows me to guard multiple positions on the floor.

What’s the biggest asset that you add to this Flames squad?
I think the biggest asset I will bring to this year’s squad is defense and versatility. Being able to play and guard multiple positions should help us out a lot.

GasTerra Flames always aims for the top. What teams do you expect will be challenging yours for the Dutch Championship?
I think a there will be a lot of good teams this year judging from the rosters of the league, and it’s hard to exclude anybody, but if I had to guess, I would say Eiffel will be right there. They have a good mix of experience and youth. And obviously the defending champions Leiden will be right there as well.

The Flames fans are really into basketball. How can you characterize them?
One word: AWESOME!

Well, to finish this, what are your goals as a player in the next years?
My goals are pretty simple. I want to bring another championship back to Groningen, get out of the first round of the Eurocup this year, and for the future, be the best player I can be every year I step on the court

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