Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bruijnzeels Brings Shooting Touch, Poise From Amsterdam

Amsterdam is widely known for its scintillating nightlife.

Given the popping city's scenic environment, breath-taking canals, museums, wild Red Light District rife with scantily-clad females, the city is both vibrant and vivacious.

With Amsterdam's fabled coffee shops, which attract cannibas-crazed tourists across the world, the freedoms of Amsterdam have made it a reputable party pad.

And so sports tends to take a backseat in Amsterdam, which is more bent on glorifying marijuana and thriving with an assortment of posh, smoke-friendly restaurants.

Soccer is the country's favorite pastime, with the basketball culture lacking.

Josh Bruijnzeels, now a senior off guard at The Conrad Academy in Orlando, Fla., trekked to the United States to maximize his potential and opportunity on the hardwood. In Orlando and in a structured environment with day-to-day emphasis on improvement, Bruijnzeels is finally in the environment he desires.

He's also laser-focused on leaving here with a full, four-year scholarship.

The teenager swears that he's never smoked the substance on which his city raises a flag proudly for.

He's also never had a sip of alcohol.

For Bruijnzeels, who was born in Aruba, distractions have never been an issue. His unflappable mentality appears sustainable. And so the  hot-shooting 6-foot-5, 195-pound guard will fight for meaningful playing time on talented veteran roster.

Bruijnzeels registered his presence as a catch-and-stick presence during the Dodge Florida shootout this weekend, hitting a feathery mid to 20-foot jumper with consistency. He also showcased an ability to hit the boards and use his wingspan defensively.

During several occasions, he went eyeball to eyeball with Jacob Tracey, the flashy guard and Division-1 prospect from Fort Myers. It was indicative of his hyper competitive engine, one he hopes to display in Shaun Wiseman's souped up offense at Conrad Academy this winter.

In Amsterdam, Bruijnzeels bouncy athleticism and steady stroke catapulted him into the elite of his age group. He saw more opportunity to prolong his playing career after high school in the United States.

So, he became a staple on Florida's ever-evolving prep basketball scene.

At MMG as a junior, he averaged 16 points on a steady diet of 3-pointers, medium-range jumpers, and baseline drives.

He eventually transferred to Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, where a leg injury would relegate him to the role of spectator.

Now healthy and working on adding both bulk and instinct to his game, Bruijnzeels is flushed into a prominent role as a supplementary piece.

With the quick-paced offensive attack predicated on the inside-outside tandem of hotly pursued guard Luguentz Dort and 6-11 Auburn-commit Austin Wiley, Bruijnzeels is cognizant of his role.

That role entails being a dependable kickout shooter and secondary scorer, one capable of delivering should Dort and Wiley catch intensified defensive coverage.

Bruijnzeels, who speaks a number of languages fluently, is also among The Conrad Academy's top student-athletes.