When the Dutch hoofdklasse will continue on July 26, Silicon Storks will have to do without two players. Local newspaper Algemeen Dagblad released an article about these two, Kendrick Delima and Aaron de Groot, who will move to the USA to play college ball.
Delima will head to Trenton, Missouri to attend North Central Missouri College. De Groot will move to Douglas, Arizona to attend Cochise College. The latter is a junior college and member of the NJCAA. North Central Missouri College is a junior college as well and also affiliated to the NJCAA.
Both players have received a scholarship which makes it easier financially to stay there.
According to Kendrick Delima, who was born on Curaçao but raised on Bonaire, playing over there will be easier. In the Netherlands, you have to train after work or school. At NCMC, you attend class for two hours and the rest of the time you are training for or playing baseball. Since Delima is twenty-three already, he sees this scholarship as his last chance. His intention is to stay at North Central Missouri College for a year and then move up to a college.
In the recent past (2016), Kendrick made some steps at NJCAA level already as he played for the same Junior College Andrelton Simmons used to play for, Western Oklahoma State.
De Groot is following the very same route (a different junior college though). The 19-year old has written to several junior colleges and Cochise College apparently liked what they saw. De Groot made a deliberate choice to go to Arizona. As his mother is US born he has both a US and Dutch passport. His Grandma and several other family members are living there as well so it will be easier for him to get used to the life and temperature.
Next to playing baseball De Groot wants to get his diploma. His intention is to stay at Cochise College for two years and then stay at a college for two more so his diploma will be the US equivalent of the Dutch HBO (higher professional education). But of course, Aaron has a baseball dream to fulfill as well. “College baseball is at a higher level than the Dutch hoofdklasse, so if am doing things well, I might never come back.” But the chance to make it to the bigs is very slim. According to De Groot, there are 3 million baseball players at a serious level and at least a 100,000 have the same talent as he does.
At the end of August, lessons will start and shortly thereafter Fall season will start. In that period, training will start and teams will play practice games. In this period, Aaron and Kendrick will have to try to make their teams.
There may be a chance that Aaron and Kendrick will meet each other. If both teams will finish in the top two of their states, they will move on to the next round in which both junior colleges may meet each other.