Johnathan Loyd is a 173cm point guard from Las Vegas, Nevada that is starting his professional basketball career with German Pro A team ETB Wohnbau Baskets. He played at Oregon from 2010-2014 playing a total of 141 NCAA games and as a senior played 34 games averaging 7.0ppg, 1.8rpg, 4.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 82.4%. He reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2013 and spoke to German Hoops about basketball before he came to Essen.
Congrats on signing your first professional contract as you will play in Germany for the ETB Wohnbau Baskets In Essen. How did you experience your first summer in the transfer period? Did you have some freedom to choose from more offers or were the offers more rare?
This summer I didn’t have to many offers. I felt like coming to Essen was the best place for me to start off my pro career.
What were the main reasons for joining the ETB Wohnbau Baskets? Did you get some advice from ex teammates Garret Sim, Waverly Austin or Jay Strowbridge who have all gained experience in the German Pro A?
The main reason for coming to Essen was that I heard how competitive the Pro A league is here in Germany so I felt like it would be a great place to start my career. I confided in a couple of my ex teammates and coaches who know what it was like and they also said it would be a great fit.
What do you know about the country Germany and it´s basketball? Some ex teammates at Oregon have played here as well as German Martin Seiferth who was your teammate your freshman year.
I didn’t know much about German basketball before I got here. I had just heard it was a well respected league in Europe and to be here for my first job was a blessing.
Was it important for you to join a team where you knew that there would be an experienced point guard like Gary Johnson who will help you adjust.
It wasn’t very important that I had an experienced pg, the most important thing was that I went to a program that would help develop me as a player and had winning aspirations. And also a program where I could use my strengths.
You recently played at the China Four Nations Tournament in Chenzhou, Jiahe, Shenzhen and ZaoZhuang (Team USA) playing 7 games averaging 16.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 8.1 apg, 3.1 spg. You had very good stats. Was this most a great confidence builder for you coming off a year off from basketball making the transition from the football field?
Yes it was a very big confidence booster. Having not played in a real game for a while, it was important for me to get back out on the floor in order to get my timing down. Practicing with the Oregon basketball team helped but this tournament was truly what I needed.
When looking at your basketball vita, one sees you had a solid college career that ended in 2014 and then there is a hole. However there was a reason for that as you played a fifth year in another sport football something that is very rare. Why did you decide to do this?
I decided to play football because I wanted to see what I could do on the field. I was pretty good in high school so I wanted to test out my abilities at the next level. Also I have a lot of pride for the University of Oregon so being able to help them win is very satisfying. And I knew this would be my last chance to put the shoulder pads on one last time so I didn’t want to regret the choice.
Did the idea of possibly getting injured and putting a professional basketball career in jeopardy not enter your mind? Or did you not see this as being a risky venture?
If you think about injury you are bound to get hurt. I didn’t really have that in my mind but of course there was always the possibility.
How difficult was it for you to adjust to football again which you hadn´t played in 5 years since high school? Did you have to make a basketball body into a football body?
The transition to the football field was a very difficult one. I had to change my mindset and my body in order to be able to compete.
How would your football year have ended up if you hadn´t had a guy like Keanon Lowe pushing you from day one?
If K Lowe wasn’t there for me from the start I don’t know if I even would have played to be honest. He was the one who convinced me to strap up.
You played mostly special teams on the Oregon football team. Did this experience help you in any way physically concerning your future basketball career? What did you learn from this year playing football?
Playing football helped me a lot. I learned a lot from the excellent coaching staff and even the leaders on that team. Becoming the punt returner was my ultimate goal so when that happened it was a dream come true.
You had a very solid basketball career at Oregon winning 94 games. You had numerous great games like the win over Arizona, or your 23 points and 15 assists against Ole Miss or your 19 points over UCLA. Was your alltime own best game one of these or was it another?
My all time best game would have been in the PAC 12 tournament championship. Just the gravity of the situation and what was at stake makes that game much better than any other.
You played against so many great point guards over your career like Larry Drew at UCLA or Justin Cobbs at California, but if you had to pick one player that was the toughest you faced who would it be?
The toughest player I played against I would say was Isaiah Thomas at the university of Washington. I was a freshmen when he was a senior and I could tell he was ready to be a pro. And also the whole Duke team my freshmen year. Their whole team was great.
You also had to witness some tough loses like the game winner from Justin Cobbs over Oregon. What do you remember from that game most?
I just remember not having a very good offensive game. I remember Justin Cobbs hitting the game winner on me and just being devastated.
How did Oregon head coach Dana Altman prepare you best for a professional basketball career at Oregon?
Coach Altman taught me how to come to work every day. Regardless of what is happening in your life, when you hit the basketball floor it’s all about basketball.
In your last two seasons how did Dominic Artis make you better as a player? I am sure the head to head battles in practice made both of you better at the point guard position
Playing against Dominic Artis everyday forced me to be ready because he was coming at me. He’s a great player so if you not locked in he’ll make you look bad.
You are from Las Vegas. Do you catch some of the NBA Summer League games? If yes what player made the biggest impact on you this summer?
I do check the summer league games out. In the summer league Seth Curry was most impressive.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015. How far is he really from being mentioned in the same breath of Michael Jordan or is he already?
In my personal opinion you can’t compare Lebron and Jordan. They have two different styles of play and they are on two different levels mentally. Jordan is the best ever and a better comparison to him would be Kobe who is next in line.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was straight outta Compton.
Thanks John for the chat.