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 tough 78-77 loss to Ehihgen ending his season.
Thanks Brandon for talking to German Hoops. A tough 78-77 loss to Ehingen to end the season. Head coach Mario Matic told me 5 hours before tip off that he was very confident that his team would win. How confident did the team feel that it would give a lot better effort then in game one?
We knew that it would be an extremely tough game because Ehingen is a really talented team. Our confidence was pretty high because we believed that we would play better in game two. Also knowing that we would be playing at home provided us with more confidence.
Does the bitter loss effect lessen a bit when you think how hard the team fought from 15 points down in the first half to almost winning the game at the end instead of being beat by 20 points to end the season?
I could say that I would rather lose by 20-30 points, but at the end of the day, a loss is a loss. So however you lose that leads to your season ending is going to be a tough pill to swallow.
The Giants Nordlingen started off the game very slow and trailed 45-31 at the break. What was key for the team not being able to keep pace with Ehingen?
In the 1st half, you would have thought they were the team that needed the win to stay alive. They came out playing really well and we did not match their intensity until the second half unfortunately.
With the season on the line and 20 more minutes to play, what soothing words did head coach Mario Matic give the team to take into the second half?
Just told us to go out there and leave it all on the court. He just reminded us how confidenct he was in us that we were going to win the game even though we got off to a rough start.
How key was the 9-0 run to start the third quarter for Nordlingen? Even though it didn´t bring you eye to eye with Ehingen, it layed the foundation for the structure and success that the Giants would achieve in the second half?
It was really important because it allowed us to get back into the game quicker. We did not allow them to come out and let them get off to a good start in the 3rd or that would have made our chances of winning more challenging.
The fourth quarter was a real good hardnosed battle and there was a span in the first five minutes where Nordlingen held Ehingen scoreless for three and a half minutes where you got the lead. Was this span the best defense that the team played in the game with the game on the line?
I think it was a combination of us playing more aggressive on defense and them missing some shots that they made earlier in the game.
Then followed 10 lead changes. What was missing on the defensive side to get 1-2 stops which might have secured the win?
Down the stretch, a lot of individuals made good offensive plays for their respective teams. Unfortunately a couple times when we played good enough defense to force a miss shot, we failed to finish the possession with a rebound.
You and Jordan Talbert hit the last two buckets of the season and have been the two best players that the club had this season. How much have you guys grown as teammates through the season?
Jordan is a really good person/player all around. He played here last season and he really helped me get used to things here quickly. Having him as a teammate was a blast because of the things I mentioned above and because he is a relentless competitor. I knew every game that we played, Jordan was going to give you everything he had!
Devon Moore won the game with a shot with 13 seconds and Jordan Talbert had the last shot for the win, but missed. Please take me through the last two plays of the season?
Moore drove to the lane and made a really tough contested lay up, so kudos to him for that. The shot we got on our last possession for Jordan, I would take 10 out of 10 times from him. It’s a shot I’ve seen him hit repeatedly all year. Unfortunately, the ball does not always bounce in your favor.
You were part of the amazing Cinderella season of the Giants Nordlingen. What will you always remember the most about this unique team and what made the whole existence so special?
The bond we had on and off the court is probably what I will remember most about this team. It’s probably safe to say that expectations for our club were not semi-finals and we made that a possibility. We all enjoyed playing ball together, so that made it really easy to go out there and play for each other.
I would presume that Mario Matic is the front runner for coach of the year. What made his teaching style and knowledge so beneficial to the team and success?
The level of trust he has in his players was a big thing for our success I believe. He also helped to make the team feel like a family which led to us all having good relationships on and off the court.
Who in your eyes was the most improved player on the Giants Nordlingen this season?
Moritz Trieb. I had the pleasure of competing against him daily. He is still young and learning but he is a ferocious competitor, which is something you can’t teach. He is always in attack mode to score, but as the season progressed, you could see that he was realizing when a pass is better than a tough shot. He is a player with tons of potential!
You had a very strong season and Mario Matic has already given his support for you and trying to make the next step to the Pro A. What do you feel on your game matured in your second season as a professional that will get you to the next level?
I feel that I continued to grow as a leader on and off the court which is really important when you’re playing the point guard position. My abilities to score and also making things easier for my teammates are things that also improved this season thanks to Mario and my teammates.
With your second professional season and first in Germany in the books, which player do you feel gave you the toughest battle on the floor this season?
Probably Moore from Ehigen. He is a really versatile scorer and it has been on display during their run to the finals.
If you had to build your NBA Rushmore with your four best players who would you pick?
Tough question since there are so many great players and its hard not to be biased to players I enjoyed watching. Michael Jordan. Magic Johnson. Larry Bird. Shaq O’Neal
The Atlanta Hawks now battle Lebron and the Cavs. What do you feel happening in this series and who will win and how many games?
The Hawks could possibly make the games interesting but in the end, I think the Cavs have more fire power. Cavs in 6
What will be the first meal that you grab when you get off the plane in the States?
Probably whatever is in the airport if I am really hungry. But I have really been looking forward to having pancakes! Crepes are bigger here so I do not come across too many American pancakes. I can make them but it’s not the same as sitting down to order them or having moms cook make them haha.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
Thanks Brandon for the chat.