ZZ Leiden

ZZ Leiden

Dutch basketball club

ZZ Leiden Basketball, also known as Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden, is a professional basketball club based in Leiden, Netherlands. The club plays in the BNXT League, the domestic first tier league. Their home games are played at Sportcomplex 1574.[1]

Quick Facts Leagues, Founded ...

ZZ Leiden has won the national championship five times, the NBB Cup four times, the Dutch Supercup a record four times and the BNXT championship twice in a row. Leiden was a European Club Winner's Cup semi-finalist in 1980. They also made the semi-finals of the FIBA Europe Cup in 2022.


The old Leiden team (1958–1986)

Tony Parker, Sr. (right) going up against René Ridderhof (left), while playing for Parker Leiden in 1980. In the background: Mitchell 'Mitch' Plaat (#7).

On September 23, 1958, the club was founded as Bona Stars by Ton Kallenberg, a physical education professor at a school in Leiden. In 1967 the club entered the eredivisie, the highest professional basketball league in the Netherlands under the name BS Leiden.

When Parker became the main sponsor of the club in 1977 Leiden won its first national championship (1977/1978). During this era the team finished five times as runners-up in the league. In 1979/1980 Leiden reached the semi-finals of the European Club Winner's Cup (later: Saporta Cup, ULEB Cup or EuroCup), their best European result up till now. In 1986, Leiden was forced to leave the eredivisie, due to the absence of a main sponsor. The team played five years in the Promotiedivisie, the highest non-professional league, before pulling out of the Dutch basketball pyramid.

The Rise of ZZ (2006–2010)

On February 16, 2006, it was announced that Leiden would return at the highest stage in the Netherlands.[2] The team got a new main sponsor in Zorg en Zekerheid and would play its games in the Vijf Meihal.

After being quarter- and semifinalist in a few seasons, Leiden returned to the top of the Netherlands in 2010. Leading players of the ZZ team were Danny Gibson, who was named the DBL Most Valuable Player Award in 2009–10, and Seamus Boxley. The club won its first NBB Cup, by beating ABC Amsterdam in the championship game. In the Semi-final, heavy favorites Groningen were defeated. In the Playoffs Semi-finals, ZZ once again faced Groningen. The team put up a fight against the top seed, but eventually fell short 3–2.

Back at the top of Dutch basketball (2010–present)

In the 2010–11 season, ZZ Leiden came back on top of the Dutch basketball world as best club. In the regular season, the team finished first. The second DBL title was eventually won, after beating Groningen 4–3 in the Finals. The deciding game 7 turned out to be historic, including three overtimes, which ended in 96–95.[3]

The following year the team its second NBB Cup, but was defeated in the Finals of the DBL. ZZ Leiden also reached the Round of 16 in the EuroChallenge 2011-12 after their second place in the first group stage this season. In 2013 the team got its third national championship, by going undefeated in the play-offs and beating Aris Leeuwarden in the Finals.

The 2013–14 was a struggling one for Leiden. The team ended on the 4th place in the regular season and lost in the Semifinals to Groningen. After the end of the season, Leiden decided to part ways with head coach Toon van Helfteren.[4] Van Helfteren eventually won six trophies with Leiden.

Main sponsor Zorg en Zekerheid extended their contract with 3 years in the 2014 offseason,[5] and a new head coach was signed in Eddy Casteels.[6] In the 2014–15 season, Leiden finished 2nd in the regular season, but once again was eliminated by Groningen in the Semi-finals.

In 2019, Leiden won the NBB Cup after defeating Landstede Zwolle 87–69 in the final.[7]

On 17 May 2020, Leiden signed Geert Hammink as its new head coach for the 2020–21 season.[8] Leiden went on to capture its fourth DBL championship.[9] Star players of the team were league MVP Emmanuel Nzekwesi and Playoffs MVP Worthy de Jong.

Since the 2021–22 season, Leiden plays in the BNXT League, in which the national leagues of Belgium and the Netherlands have been merged.[10] On 11 June 2022, Leiden won the inaugural BNXT championship.[11] De Jong was named the league's Finals MVP and retired from professional basketball after. Leiden also had its best performance in Europe ever, reaching the semifinals of the 2021–22 FIBA Europe Cup.

After the successful season, coach Hammink signed with Skyliners Frankfurt;[12] star player Worthy de Jong retired from professional basketball. In July 2022, Roberts Štelmahers was acquired as the club's new head coach.[13] However, Stelmahers later signed another contract with Nymburk in the Czech Republic, causing Leiden to seek a replacement.[14] On August 15, Leiden signed Doug Spradley as new head coach to a one-year contract.[15]

On 12 March 2023, ZZ Leiden won their fourth-ever Cup title after beating Landstede Hammers 72–70 in the Landstede Sportcentrum.[16] On 29 May 2023, they won their fifth national title following a Game 5 win over Donar, despite trailing by 16 points 2:40 before the ending of the game. Thomas Rutherford scored two game-winning free throws to seal the championship. The win meant that Leiden won its first national double (both the league and cup titles) in club history.[17]


Panorama view of the Vijf Meihal

From its re-inception in 2006 to 2023, Leiden used the Vijf Meihal as its home arena. The arena, which is also used for gymnastics of high school students, is nicknamed De Schuur (The Barn) by ZZ Leiden fans.

The municipality of Leiden replaced the Vijf Meihal with the newly built Indoor Sportcentrum, which was announced to have a capacity of 2,435 people.[18] The new name was later announced to be Sportcomplex 1574, named after the year of the Siege of Leiden after which the city was liberated from Spanish rule.[19] Construction of the €24 million arena began in 2012 and finished in 2023.[20][21] The sporting hall was named the "Aad van der Luit Topsporthal". The decision by the municipality of Leiden to build was heavily criticized by ZZ Leiden as the number of seats is below FIBA's minimum of 3,000 seats for international games. In its first season, ZZ Leiden was forced to withdraw from the Basketball Champions League because of the size of the Sportcomplex 1574.[22] On 15 October 2023, the inaugural basketball game was played at the arena when Leiden played BCM Gravelines-Dunkerque in the FIBA Europe Cup.[23]

  • Vijf Meihal (2006–2023)
  • Sportcomplex 1574 (2023–present)

Logos and names

  • Parker Leiden (1977–1983)
  • Elmex Leiden (1983–1986)
  • Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden (2006–present)

Club records

The list only includes records since ZZ Leiden was established in 2006. Bold denotes still active with team. As of the end of the 2019–20 season:

More information Most points scored, Player ...
More information Most rebounds, Player ...
More information Most assists, Player ...


Current roster

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA-sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

More information Players, Coaches ...

Retired numbers

More information N°, Player ...

Notable players

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA-sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

More information Criteria ...

Individual awards


National competitions

Regional competitions

Season by season

More information Season, Tier ...
  1. The 2019–20 season was curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

International record

ZZ Leiden made its debut in the European stage in 1978 when it entered the European Champions Cup. In 1982, Leiden played in the FIBA Intercontinental Cup, qualifying as hosts of the competition.

More information Competition, GP ...


  • (N) = Neutral venue
More information Season, Competition ...

List of head coaches

Club symbol Toon van Helfteren played for and coached the team
More information Coach, From ...


  1. "Dutch Basketball League - Teams" (in Dutch). Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  2. "BS Leiden terug in Eredivisie" (in Dutch). Sleutelstad. 14 February 2006. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  3. "ZZ Leiden kampioen" (in Dutch). NOS. 29 May 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  4. "ZZ Leiden niet verder met coach Toon van Helfteren". 13 May 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  5. "Zorg en Zekerheid nog drie jaar basketbalsponsor Leiden". Omroep West (in Dutch). 29 May 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  6. "Eddy Casteels wordt ook coach van Nederlandse Leiden". (in Dutch). 30 May 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  7. "Basketballers ZZ Leiden veroveren nationale beker". 31 March 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  8. "Geert Hammink nieuwe coach ZZ Leiden". Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  9. "Ruime zege bezorgt basketballers Leiden eerste landstitel sinds 2013". (in Dutch). 27 May 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  10. "Licenties BNXT League 2021-2022 toegekend". Basketball League (in Dutch). Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  11. "ZZ Leiden first BNXT League champion". BNXT League. 11 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  12. "Offiziell: Geert Hammink übernimmt die Skyliners Frankfurt in der Basketball-Bundesliga". (in German). 17 June 2022. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  13. "Roberts Stelmahers nieuwe coach van ZZ Leiden". (in Dutch). Retrieved 11 July 2022.
  14. "Onaangename verrassing voor ZZ Leiden". (in Dutch). Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  15. "Douglas Spradley nieuwe coach ZZ Leiden". (in Dutch). Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  16. "Leiden wint spannende basketbalfinale van Zwolle, dat die beker maar niet kan winnen". (in Dutch). 12 March 2023. Retrieved 12 March 2023.
  17. "Indoor Sportcentrum". Gemeente Leiden. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  18. "Indoor Sportcentrum heet Sportcomplex 1574". Sleutelstad. Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  19. "Bouw Indoor Sportcentrum start eind van het jaar". Sleutelstad. Retrieved 26 November 2023.
  20. Dieleman, Tom (2 September 2023). "ZZ Leiden staat voor stap naar hal van 24 miljoen euro: 'Er is zó veel mis'". (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 November 2023.
  21. Weber, Natasja (28 June 2023). "Basketballers ZZ Leiden moeten Champions League laten schieten: te weinig zitplaatsen op de tribunes". De Volksrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 November 2023.
  22. "ZZ Leiden allereerste keer in nieuwe hal". (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 November 2023.
  23. "Worthy is een Leidenaar!". (in Dutch). Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  24. "Landskampioenen, bekerwinnaars en competitiewinnaars" (in Dutch). Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  25. "Super Cup" (in Dutch). Retrieved 16 March 2018.

52°08′57.1″N 4°28′35.0″E

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