Mike Lucier is a 23 year old 201 cm forward from Forest,Ontario that is playing his rookie season in Germany with Pro B club Dragons Rhondorf. He played at Lambton (CCAA) from 2011-2016. As a junior he played 18 games games averaging 17.7ppg, 11.3rpg, 2.4apg, 1.1spg, 1.3bpg. He spoke to German Hoops about his rookie season and first impressions before the start of the regular season.
Mike thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Hey Miles, right now I am in Bad Honnef getting ready to get our regular season started. My summer was pretty good, I spent a lot of time in the gym trying to prepare myself to take the next step in my basketball career.
If you had been away from home for a while would you rather pick an afternoon on Lake Huron or a trip to Detroit?
That’s a tough one, If I had been away from home for a while I’d have to say an afternoon on Lake Huron with my family or some friends sound like a pretty good way to spend my day.
Congrats on an illustrious career at Lambton (CCAA). Did you know from the first time you set foot on campus that you would want to become a professional basketball player one day?
Thank you, I appreciate it. I knew I wanted to continue playing basketball for as long as I could but coming from a small high school and heading to a small college I wasn’t always sure that I would get the opportunity to play professionally. As my career went on it started to become more realistic to me so I’m just grateful to be in the position I am in right now.
How did you experience your first summer being hurled into the transfer market shark tank? Did it take a while for those first offers to come in or did you have some teams to choose from?
It was definitely a slow process for me. I had talked to a couple agents and teams at the start of the summer but I didn’t have many people around me that have been through it that I could look to for advice. I was hesitant to make any commitments so I didn’t really come in to any serious talks with teams until the end of the summer.
In the last years always more and more Canadians have ventured to Germany to play professional ball, but not many have come from the CCAA. How blessed are you to have signed that first professional contract with German Pro B team Dragons Rhondorf?
I’m extremely blessed that I signed with Dragons Rhondorf, I couldn’t have asked for a better situation to start my career in Europe. Not a lot of players from the CCAA get the opportunity to play professionally but the quality of the league and Canadian basketball in general is always getting better so I think more and more players will make it to the next level in the near future.
What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball?
In Germany it is a very team oriented type of game, there is a lot of ball movement and playing without the ball to get open off screens and cuts. There is a lot of talent in Germany throughout all of the leagues which makes it really competitive no matter what league you are playing in. Guys are playing for the opportunity to move up so they are bringing their A game every night.
What sold you on joining the Dragons Rhondorf? They are a team that played last season in the Pro A and now moved back to the Pro B?
After talking to Boris I really felt like it was a perfect fit for me, we were both on the same page with what they were looking for and what I could bring to the team. I knew they were coming off a tough season but I knew they already had some really good players and I felt like I could help the team turn it around and have a successful season this year.
The Dragons Rhondorf and head coach Matthias Sonnenschein knew pretty quickly that you would fit into the team on and off the court. What was your first impression of coach and Boris Kaminski after the talks?
After talking to coach and Boris I knew right away that this was a team I wanted to play for. It didn’t take much thinking at all. They’re great guys and they care about their players, the situation seemed perfect for me. The club has a lot of history and the fans show a lot of support so I knew it would be fun and a good experience for me.
Please describe your game a bit. You are an athletic forward that produced double double stats in your last two seasons?
I’m a forward but I spend a lot of the time on the perimeter, I can shoot the 3 and put the ball on the floor but I like to play inside as well. I try to be productive and help my team in every part of the game so I try to crash the boards whenever I can and play tough defense. At the end of they day I just try to be a good teammate in every practice/game and do what I can to help us win.
If you had to describe your game to an NBA player to whom would you?
It’s kind of hard for me to pick a player, I try to take from so many different players game at every position. But a lot of people tell me that I play like Dirk Nowitzki so I guess I’ll go with that.
You are a guy that lives above the rim. I saw many highlight reels of you at you tube. Is not dunking for you in a game about as unreal as Lebron going scoreless in a game?
Haha I definitely try to play above the rim and get the fans into the game. I wouldn’t go that far but I’ve been working on attacking the rim more this summer so maybe we’ll see more dunks from me this season.
You can fill up the stats sheet, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed right away on the court?
I think a hidden strength in my game is my footwork. Coach Concisom at Lambton worked a lot with me this summer on improving my footwork, I feel like its really helped my mid range and post game.
You really improved your shooting at Lambton. Do you see your self spreading the floor even more as a professional with Rhondorf with your three pointer?
I’ve been working really hard on improving my shot, its steadily gotten better and I have become more comfortable shooting the 3 as my college career went on. I definitely see myself spreading the floor and being a threat from 3 at the professional level.
Is becoming the all-time scorer at Lambton your biggest achievement there?
I don’t think I would say that being the leading scorer at Lambton is my biggest achievement. When I got to Lambton we were at the bottom of the league, I remember losing a game at home by 60 points in my rookie season. When I left Lambton we were ranked #6 in the country so just being part of that turn around and seeing the growth of the program made me feel more accomplished than becoming the leading scorer did. I know the program at Lambton is only going to keep growing from here!
Perhaps this season the headline in Rhondorf will be the Sensation Double double brothers of Nelson And Lucifer lead the club to another win. How excited are you becoming teammates with this talented American?
I can’t wait until the season starts and I get to start playing with Aaron, he is a really talented player. He is definitely going to be a problem for teams, he can get it done all over the court and rebounds on both ends so I know he is going to make it easier for me on the court. I think we will play good together and I can’t wait to get to work.
Nelson said in an interview with me that he isn´t happy unless he gets a double double. Do you feel the same with your game?
I feel the same about my game for sure, I try to get a double double every night. I don’t worry about scoring I know that will come if I play the game the right way but rebounding is something that I focus on every game.
How did head coach James Grant groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Grant took over as the head coach of Lambton my rookie year so we went through it all together. Through the ups and downs he always had faith in me and put me in positions to be successful on the court. He taught me a lot about the game and how to play it the right way so I felt prepared when I was ready to take the next step.
How did Jason Marshell, Brandon Padgett and Shawn Hill influence you most on the court to becoming a better player?
All three of these guys really helped me become a better player. When I first met Jason the summer before he came to Lambton we were in the gym every day. We would get off work late and go to the gym at 1 in the morning some nights to get shots up and put some work in. That’s the summer I felt like I improved my game the most, we pushed each other every single day to get better. Branden is a killer on the court plain and simple, he works harder than anyone I know. Whenever we would get a workout in he would always push me to get better. I learned a lot from all 3 of them and practice was always super competitive with these guys. I know all 3 of them have what it takes to play at the next level.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 NBA heads would you choose?
I’d have to go with Jordan, Shaq, Kobe and Lebron.
Now that Lebron finally won a NBA title with the Cavs where does this title put him in the debate as the all-time best player in the world?
I think it puts him in the top 3. I don’t like comparing guys careers especially before their over but I think when its all said and done he has to be in the conversation no doubt.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The Hunger Games.
Thanks Mike for the chat.