From Dubai to Geneseo, basketball remains constant for freshman forward

Geneseo men’s basketball freshman forward Jordi Menkhorst is an international basketball player in a very literal sense. The 6-foot-5-inch Belgium-native, San Francisco-raised ball player knew from the tender age of eight just how prominent a role basketball would play in his life. It wasn’t until he was in high school in Dubai that Menkhorst realized his passion for basketball and its indefinite presence in his future. “I just enjoyed it,” Menkhorst said. “I used to play tennis and golf when I was younger, but I really enjoyed the team concept. I think we won that first game [in high school] and I think working together with others just gave me a really good feeling. Playing in front of the crowd, playing in front of my family; that was what made it special.”

Menkhorst may not remember much about his formal introduction to the game of basketball, but one thing is for sure: the fun he had on those San Francisco playgrounds is what continues to drive his passions today. “There’s this kid I remember,“ he said. “[His] name was Michael and he just asked me one day to start playing with him and I did for pretty much every recess after that.”

It was in Dubai at 17 years old that Menkhorst attended The Global Education Management Systems World Academy where he really created a name for himself. Scoring up to a whopping 24 points per game, Menkhorst understood the value of the game.

“When I lived in Dubai, my high school basketball coach [Greg Slosek] was an Oswego native,” Menkhorst said. “He was my high school basketball coach as well as my history teacher and when I started looking into universities, one day I spotted Geneseo.”

Menkhorst turned to Slosek for help. “I asked him for advice because he played in the SUNYAC himself,” he said. “He played for [SUNY] Brockport and [SUNY] Fredonia and he said Geneseo is a really good school from an both academic and athletic standpoint.”

With the Knights set to head into the semester break, expectations are high with players and coaches alike.

“I know we have high standards this year with getting where we want to go,” Menkhorst said. “I hope I can be a part of a very special team that goes far.”

Menkhorst follows professional basketball in his spare time. That is to be expected. His favorite player, however, is not as expected.

“My favorite basketball player is [guard] Stephen Curry from the [Golden State] Warriors … I think he’s an amazing player,” he said. “I also like [San Antonio Spurs forward] Tim Duncan in terms of what [he does] for the community as well for the game … a combination of Stephen Curry and Tim Duncan, for me, would be the perfect player.”

Menkhorst and the Knights will play in the Wendy’s College Classic on Friday Dec. 5 and Saturday Dec. 6 and play Medaille College on Monday Dec. 8 before going on the semester break.