Lakeem Jackson is a 26 year old 196cm forward from Charlotte, North Carolina that is playing his fourth professional season and second in Germany with German Pro A team ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen. 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%. Last season he played with the Rhein Stars Koeln (Germany-ProA) playing 29 games: 12.4ppg, 7.3rpg, 2.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 15.0%, FT: 42.5%. He spoke to German Hoops after his first game with Essen.
Lakeem welcome back to Germany. Did you become homesick to Germany just a little bit or why did you return and this time sign with the ETB Wohnbau Baskets?
I was just trying to find the right situation for me as a player. I was familiar with the ProA league so I made the decision to come here for my 4th season.
You didn´t sign with the ETB Wohnbau baskets until a few months into the season. Why was this off season different than in past years for you in terms of finding a new team quicker?
It was different because I had a lot of different things coming my way and I wanted to go to the right situation.
The club hasn´t had much luck this season, but in your first game the club celebrated only it´s second win of the season. Do you feel like a secret good luck charm for the team?
No I don’t feel like a good luck charm. We worked hard to compete on a high level this last game. I was only playing my role as a player. We fought hard until the end and the end result turned out in our favor.
The first half was a tale of two quarters. Essen dominated the first quarter with 27 points, but had a slight scoring drought in the second quarter. Why was Nurnberg able to crawl back into the game to trail only 42-41 at the break?
Just some minor mistakes on our end. I think they out rebounded us which lead to some easy buckets for them. Something we can definitely fix.
How good did that alley-oop dunk feel like in the third quarter? Was that the needed energy boost the club needed to close out the third quarter strong?
Anytime a team can get a dunk or alley-oop play, it’s always a plus. It boosts momentum and changes the game a lot.
Nurnberg went on a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter and retake the lead 64-63. Did the ETB Wohnbau Baskets lose some focus in the first few minutes?
I believe we did. But coach did a good job of getting us back focused
With seven seconds to play and the game tied, point guard Chris Alexander won the game with free throws. He didn´t get to the line often only twice, but did when it counted most. How excited are you in general to be playing with this very talented and experienced player?
I’m very excited. He’s considered a veteran in my eyes and can heat up at any moment. He wanted to have the ball in his hands at the end and that’s what we did.
You had 12 points in your first game with the ETB Wohnbau Baskets. How content were with you first game in general?
I was very satisfied. My main focus was to go out and try to help this team become successful. And thats what happened.
What is your overall and early impression of the ETB Wohnbau Baskets. Is this a club that you are confident will improve and win many more games?
I’m very confident that this team has the potential to improve and at a high rate. All the pieces are there. We just have to take it one day at a time.
The team averages 72 points per game, but gives up 87 points per game. What do you feel is the team´s biggest weak spot on the defensive end and will the team be able to find a clear identity there?
Mainly just communication. Something that can be fixed with practice.
What is your impression of the Lodders twins? How do these guys make the team better?
The Lodder brothers are very skilled. Each has his own unique style of play. They are both really good shooters as well.
What exactly is your role with the club and how is it different than last season with the RheinStars?
I’m playing a lot of the forward position here. In Cologne I played wing and some point guard as well.
Besides winning as many games as possible, what is your main goal as a player to do in your game in your fourth professional season?
I want to become a better leader and to enjoy the game of basketball more.
Kevin Garnett has retired. Where do you see him ranked in the all-time best power forwards that ever played the game?
That’s tough. Kevin was one of the best forwards behind Tim Duncan. He’s definitely top 5.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I watched was Bad Moms.
Thanks Lakeem for the chat.