Brandon Lockhart is a 25 year old 185cm guard from St Louis, Missouri that is playing hiss econd professional season and first with German team Giants Nordlingen. AS a rookie he played for BK Levicki Patrioti (Slovakia-Extraliga) playing 34 games: Score-5(16.7ppg), 3.8rpg, Assists-5(4.3apg), Steals-1(3.0spg), FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 28.5%, FT: 78.9%. He played at Drury (NCAA2) from 2009-2013 and as a senior played 35 games averaging 12.5ppg, 3.9rpg, 6.1apg, 2.9spg, FGP: 50.9%, 3PT: 48.3%, FT: 77.1%. He spoke to German Hoops before the game against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors.
Brandon thanks for talking to German Hoops Congrats on the solid 2-0 start into the season. You registered a big 88-79 win at home against Lich. The week before Lich gave up only 39 points. Did you sense possibly too much self confidence on their part?
Not too much self confidence on their part. I just think that we played well early and were able to keep a good distance from them on the score board. It also helped that we were playing at home.
Nordlingen scored 88 points and showed stable early season fire power. Was the offense the biggest strength on the night in the win?
Yes, we have a bunch of good offensive players, so I believe that will be the strength for us many nights.
Nordlingen is 2-0 now. How has the team developed best in the last weeks that has given the club the well deserved 2-0 start?
We played well through the preseason and have gotten better each game. We are just continually learning what players do best in practice so that when the games come, we give ourselves a chance to win.
The club has averaged 80 points in the first two games and given up 72 points. What potential do you see this team having this season? Will it be able to score in the 80´s while keeping teams to near 70 points?
Hopefully we just end the game with more points than the other team, LOL. But we have a bunch of offensive weapons, so I think we have the potential to be a high scoring team.
To have success in the Pro B, it always depends on the quality of the imports and how well the German role players play. Does Nordlingen have the right mix to be a consistent strong team this season?
I believe that we do! Majority of our players can do more than one thing really well. Therefore, its hard for other teams to key on just 1 or 2 players.
The club is playing a thin rotation at the moment. Do you feel any pressure like you have to have amazing games each night? How well do you handle and accept pressure?
No, there is no pressure to have to be amazing each night. We play as a team, so that takes the pressure off of all of us. I have no problem accepting pressure, especially basketball pressure because I have been in many pressure moments throughout my career.
A big surprise is that an American isn´t the leading scorer, but German Janek Schmidkunz. How impressed have you been by his play in the early going?
It’s no surprise that Janek has been doing what he’s doing because I have been watching him daily at practice. He is a really good shooter which opens up more space for the rest of his game.
Could this be the best 1-2 point guard duo in the Pro B this season?
I feel that we could be a really good backcourt duo. It’s a long season but both of us will go into each game confident about what we can do.
How important has your relationship been to the other American Jordan Talbot on and off the court?? Was the tour of the city quick considering its so small?
It’s really important because he played here last year. So he knows the club and city a little better than I do. We instantly connected since we are the Americans here, so that also helped make things easier. LOL, it was a really quick tour of the city since it’s so small. But I like it!
After a strong rookie season with BK Levicki Patrioti (Slovakia-Extraliga) playing 34 games: Score-5(16.7ppg), 3.8rpg, Assists-5(4.3apg), Steals-1(3.0spg), FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 28.5%, FT: 78.9%, you now play in the German Pro B. Is the Pro B a step behind what you saw last season skill wise?
Since we are only 2 games in, its really difficult to tell.
What memories do you have last season of American Lakeem Jackson who played at Iskra Svit and now is playing in the German Pro A this season with Cologne?
I remember him being a tenacious rebounder and a matchup problem for most teams. His size makes him a tough person to guard.
You are a scoring guard that can also find his teammates at any time, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
Probably defensive anticipation. I feel that I am really good at getting into passing lanes and help position on defense.
You had an illustrious college career at Drury(NCAA2) topping it off with the NCAA2 title in 2013. What is the most vivid memory of this fantastic time in your life?
Tough question because there are a bunch of memories from that year. I would probably have to go with seeing all the different emotions on/off court right after we won. Many in tears because they were just so overwhelmed with positive emotion.
How did Steve Hesser prepare and groom you best for a professional basketball career?
By not giving us many rules and telling us that we need to be responsible men wherever we were. Overseas, you are on your own a lot. So you have to be able to distinguish right from wrong because nobody will be there to clean up after your mistakes for the most part.
Who was the best player that you played against in the NCAA2 that is in the NBA now?
I played against a bunch of really outstanding players at the NCAA2 level. Braydon Hobbs is probably the best overall player I played against. I do not believe he had any NBA opportunities but he is playing in the Germany BBL this season.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Alex Hall?
HAHA we never played one on one during our days at Drury. But if we played now, I think I have the advantage since I spend more hours in the gym than he does.
Coming from St Louis, what stories do you know about Vashon high school player Jimmy Mckinney that has had a long career in Germany?
Once he left for overseas, I did not really keep up with him that much. I only know that he has been quite successful over here.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015. Will he ever be mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
I think he will be great again this year but like last season, they will not be my pick to win it all. For me, no, because MJ is my favorite. But I also just think that we need to appreciate LeBron while he is playing because who knows when we will see someone do the things he is capable of doing.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Brandon for the chat.