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 after the thrill sweep against Iserlohn.
Brandon congrats on the sweep of number one team Iserlohn. The fairy tale continues. What do you feel has been the most special part of the Nordlingen fairy tale this season?
Thanks Miles!! I think that the bond we have created as a team on and off the court is the most special part to me. We enjoy playing basketball together but also get along really well off the court.
The Nordlingen Giants are now 4-1 in the playoffs and are sitting in the semi-finals. How has the team progressed in the playoffs since the 2 game losing streak to end the season?
The two game losing streak to close the season really opened our eyes to things we needed to improve if we wanted to be successful. Since those last regular season losses, we have been better on defense and securing rebounds.
How important was it setting the tone in the first quarter by scoring 24 points as a team and showing Iserlohn that it would have to be a battle for them to escape home with the series tied 1-1?
Getting off to a good start was really important because we knew they were going to try and come out and be the aggressor. So we just wanted to withstand whatever they threw at us and not let them get rolling.
In the second quarter after a tighter first quarter, Nordlingen was able to break away and lead 52-37. Did Iserlohn get a good dose of true Nordlingen basketball that makes it difficult for the opponent to react to?
In the second quarter, our defense improved a little bit which allowed us to get out on transition a little more for easier buckets. When we are able to get out on transition, we are a tough team to stop.
With 20 minutes to go, and a 52-37 lead, what was the most vital thing that head coach Mario Matic told the team not to forget to do in the last 20 minutes?
He did not want us to forget that we are playing a really good team. They were the best team in the North this year for a reason, so we knew they weren’t going to go down without a fight.
In the second half the Nordlingen Giants wore down Iserlohn never letting them get closer than 10 points. How vital was the last 20 minutes in showing the team one more time just how good they are closing out the a top ranked team despite having a thinner bench?
A thin rotation is something we’ve been up against all season so it’s not anything new for us. But closing the game out at home was really important because having to go back to their place on shorter days rest with a thin bench would have been a tough challenge to overcome.
You really have stepped up your game in the playoffs and taken another step in the Iserlohn series with 25 points in game one and now 24 points and 11 assists. You didn´t have your best shooting day, but does the aggressiveness and getting to the free throw line and making 16 of 19 free throws make up a bit for the rest
I just go out each game trying to do whatever I can to help my team be successful. As long as we win, I’m not too concerned with how many points I score. I would have liked to have had a better shooting day, but attempting that many FTs definitely can cover up a poor shooting performance.
Besides wanting your team to do well, do you feel that this is your time now to show everyone that you are a top guard at the Pro B level?
Yes, it would be nice to be considered one of the top guards in a league filled with a bunch of good guards. But I am more concerned with being a part of one of the top teams in the league.
You had an amazing 9 steals. The total number of steals doesn´t always measure the total worth of a defensive performance as often there are other things done not seen on the stat sheet to stimulate the defense, but was this your best defensive game this season?
9 steals is an accomplishment but if I went back and reviewed films from previous games, I’m sure I would find better defensive games.
The Giants Nordlingen now face Ehingen and will attempt the next upset. Nordlingen split the season series with them. What kind of series can we await?
I think it’ll be a fun, tough series played by two good teams. We have played each other twice this season so both teams know what to expect from the other.
What will be key to having further success against a very talented Ehingen team?
Focusing on defense and finishing defensive possessions with a rebound will be extremely important to whether we win or lose this series.
You had a good series against them scoring 16 points twice. Will your adrenaline go up another notch when game one arises and how good do you already feel now about going out and doing work?
I feel good about this series and will definitely just go out and play to the best of my ability. I’m confident that as long as we play our game, we will have a chance to win the series
The Golden State Warriors recently got the NBA regular season record of 73 wins. Who would win a game today the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls or Golden State Warriors?
Bulls! Hard for me to go against MJ
Kobe Bryant recently played his last game. He ended his illustrious career with 60 points. What was your favorite Kobe moment in his career?
I think the game winner he hit against Steve Nash and the Suns in the Western Conference Finals in 2006 is one I’ll never forget. He hit another big shot before that to send the game into OT. I am a big Steve Nash fan, so it was tough to watch that
What was the last movie that you saw?
The Night Before. A comedy with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen.
Thanks Brandon for the chat.