Lakeem Jackson is a 24 year old 196cm forward from Charlotte, North Carolina that will play his third professional season and first in Germany with German Pro A team RheinStars. He played his first two professional seasons with BK Iskra Svit (Slovakia-SBL). He started his basketball career in 2009 with South Carolina(NCAA) where he played a total of 120 NCAA games and as a senior played 32 games averaging 7.5ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 56.0%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 33.9%. He spoke to German Hoops after the 74-68 win against the ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen.
Lakeem thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on the 74-68 win against Essen at home. You had been in the Lanxess arena before seeing the German national team battle France. What kind of a feeling is it lacing it up in this huge arena
A Great feeling! Just being able to have fans and supporters come out and fill up a venue like the Lanxess Arena was a great experience.
After two loses in a row how much urgency did you feel was present within the team to get this win?
Obviously after two wins, as a team you have to go back and see what went wrong. But we act silly learned something new about ourselves as a team in those two losses and it helped us get back on track.
It was another very tight game where Cologne came up big at the end as the winner. Is the team still getting used to winning these type of games or do you feel that it is slowly becoming a Positive habit?
Not really sure. Each game that we’ve won starts and ends with us a whole. Once we learn how to finish games the way we want, we will not be in those situations
Essen stayed very feisty in the fourth never allowing you to fully get away. They cut it down to two points with a minute to play. What was giving the team the biggest difficulty at that point not to be in a more comfortable setting score wise?
It was partly our fault. We went a couple minutes where we couldn’t make a shot, then they got s couple and 1 shots.
In the last minute free throws and a technical foul and Aaron Jones bucket sealed the win. One never really talks about it but honestly how vital is it to never forget to get in some extra time after practice working on free throws?
Definitely something all players should do. Building muscle memory and getting extra reps in is a must
Do you feel a little lucky with getting the win because the team shot only 52% from the free throw line?
I think it just means we did a lot of other things well.
I know I have stressed this over and over about how needed the scoring input is from the four Americans, but tonight German Tim Van Der Velde stepped up and scored 10 points. Do you sense that the young Germans are becoming more comfortable from game to game with their roles and scoring punch ability?
Yes each player on the team knows what they bring to the team and they all have confidence in themselves to go out and play hard for the team every night.
How more valuable is German Jonathan Malu becoming who supplied big man versatility with seven points, seven boards and two assists?
Let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be going up against him in an opposite jersey. He’s a guy that comes off the bench and gives us a spark on the boards and offensively as well.
Before the two loses you had a three game winning streak where you won each game by a close margin. What did the team get away from in that two game losing streak?
Just mental mistakes. Every game we lost, it was nothing the opponents did, we did it to ourselves. But I think we are making the right steps as a team.
You led the team in rebounds, but had an off shooting night scoring only four points. Will you do extra film of this game and watch what you did on the floor or just go back to the gym and work hard on your game and get up extra shots?
Honestly I’ll just get back in the gym and work on my games. Whenever I perform like that, I try to forget it and focus on the next game
How did you experience your first Halloween in Germany? What will always remain your Halloween highlight as a kid?
Halloween was cool. Everyone in the city of Cologne was dressed up and I saw some funny costumes. My highlight from Halloween that I’ll never forget would probably be going house to house getting candy with my friends
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Lakeem for the chat.