Brandon Lockhart is a 26 year old 185cm guard from St Louis, Missouri that is playing his third season in Germany and first with the Rostock Seawolves currently averaging 12,0ppg, 4,7rpg, 4,3apg and 3,7spg while shooting 50% from outside. He completed his third professional season and first with German team ScanPlus Baskets Elchingen (Germany-ProB) averaging 12,0ppg, 3,8rpg and 6,2apg. 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%. Two seasons ago he played for the Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen (Germany-ProB) playing 29 game averaging 16.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 5.7apg, 2.5spg, FGP: 49.6%, 3PT: 26.8%, FT: 81.1%. He spoke to German Hoops after he signed with Rostock in August.
Brandon thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Hey Miles, no problem. I am currently in Little Rock, AR spending some time with the family before I take off to Rostock tomorrow.
Did you experience any interesting new adventures this summer while challenging or did you just chill at home with family and friends and stay in shape?
Whenever I return from across the waters, its rare that I am in one place for the entire summer. This summer I was lucky enough to visit California with some friends and also Gulf Shores, AL with my family.
I know with my dealing with so many players in the last years over the summer concerning their future, it is always easier and comfortable to enjoy the summer when you signed early. You signed a few days before August. Were you getting a bit nervous the last weeks or did you have everything under control?
Signing earlier is always more ideal but I don’t think I was at the worrying spot yet.. Last season I did not sign until near the end of August. So maybe if a few more weeks had went by, I would’ve started to get nervous.
This is our 12th interview in the last two seasons. If I had told you in April 2017 when we did our last interview that you would be joining the Rostock Seawolves what would you have thought?
I would have found that hard to believe because before this season, I did not really have any interest from teams in the north.
In our last interview you stated “I feel like I can and I definitely want to play in the Pro A. This didn´t happen. When looking back how your personal summer search for a new team went are you a bit disappointed that this didn´t work out yet?
No, I am not disappointed. Just thankful that the management here in Rostock has given me this opportunity. Everything happens for a reason, so I believe this is where I am supposed to be this season.
The Rostock Seawolves are very high on your services and really took a while getting their point guard in you which is the most important position. How proud do you feel now knowing that they didn´t just quickly get any point guard, but got you?
It’s always a good feeling knowing that a team picks you to be a part of their plans for an upcoming season.
What was most key in you joining the Rostock Seawolves? You had two huge reasons with the ambitious nature of the team wanting to move up to the Pro A and knowing you would be reunited with your ex teammate and friend Jordan Talbert. Were there any other important reasons that made your decision easier?
Getting to experience life in a different part of Germany played a small factor. I’ve always been in the south of Germany, so playing up north is something new and exciting. But the two reasons you mentioned were probably the biggest factors in me deciding to make the move here.
What was your first impression of head coach Ralf Rehberger. Did you notice his basketball knowledge and experience in the talks? He was assistant coach to German national team coach Artland Dragons some years ago?
First impression of Coach Ralf is that he is a good person and that he knows the game of basketball. I am hoping to learn a lot from him this season and just continue to grow as a player.
What is your first impression of the team on paper? It has some very interesting players with your self, Jordan Talbert, Jefferey Martin, Chris Frazier and Bill Borekambi as it main core of scorers. That is already 5 guys that can easily give you at least 10 points a game. Will this team have enough to play for the championship?
Championships are usually won with defense. Even the most talented offensive teams know that they need to be solid on defense to win the big games. Yes, we have skilled offensive weapons, but if we want to play for a championship, it will start with our defense.
How excited are you to be playing in the Pro B north? You have a 6-1 record the last two seasons against north teams Iserlohn, Oldenburg and FC Schalke. Does this help put your self confidence at a new level simply because you have been so successful already against North Pro B teams?
I wouldn’t say that it changes my confidence positively or negatively because the teams I’ve played against in the past will be different. Every game is different and anything can happen. My confidence will always be there but I also know that just because I was successful against these teams in the past, it does not guarantee wins without working for them.
How excited are you to be joining forces again with friend Jordan Talbert. Do you think that he will be annoying you a bit at the start not letting you forget that you went 1-4 with the ScanPlus Baskets last season against his team PS Karlsruhe?
Getting to team up with JT again is exciting because we have been successful as teammates before. LOL He more than likely will but it’s fine because he earned the right to with his teammates last season. But I am sure the majority of both our focus will be on winning games this season.
What did you miss most from his game and what are you looking forward to most seeing again from him on the court?
His ability to make the right play. He is the ultimate team player and when you have a someone like that on your team, it makes life easier for everyone.
Let´s talk about your game. You stressed in the Rostock Seawolves press release and in our interviews in the past that you want to improve each day. That is what I really like your game in that you are never totally satisfied with your game. What are your personal goals on the court this season?
This season I want to have less turnovers than I did last season. I also want to increase all my shooting percentages.
We have talked in the past about your assist average. I can imagine that this will be a season again like last where you won´t be scoring as much as with Nordlingen, but having that type of role like with the ScanPlus Baskets where you will be seen more as a playmaker. You averaged 6,2apg last season. Could you imagine averaging seven or eight assists on a consistent rate this season?
I think its a possibility because of the scoring potential we have on this team. I’ve always been a pass first PG. So I don’t think 7+ assists a night is too far fetched.
You will be playing your fourth professional season and your back up at the point guard position will be Zaire Thompson who is 5 years younger than you, but has played in the NCAA one season with Fordham and played last season in the Pro A in Ehingen and already in the 12-13 season in the Pro A. Sometimes the basketball Bio´s of players can be so interesting, but considering all of this could you see being a type of mentor for this young talent?
I hope so! But I also want to learn things from him and the other players on the squad. Not everyone sees the game the same. So there will be areas I can help him improve, but I’m sure there will be times he helps me see something I might’ve missed.
You stressed in our last interview that you want to continue to work on these parts of your game shooting more off the dribble, whether it be from a pick & roll or iso situation. Because getting to the rim and finishing above taller and more athletic players is not the easiest thing. How happy have you been with your progress in these areas this summer?
I definitely feel that I grew in those areas this summer. However, doing these things in a workout session versus a real game is different. So we will both find out when the season arrives. But I definitely think I improved this summer.
How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?
I did not really follow the NBA draft to know who could potentially be a sleeper. But I will be following the Boston Celtics closely because of Jayson Tatum since he is from the high school I attended.
Where will the journey of the Houston Rockets go this season with Chris Paul and James Harden in the back court. Do they have enough to make a serious run at the title or is something missing?
With those two on the same roster, they will have a good season. Unfortunately they are in the same conference as the Warriors and they just don’t have enough weapons to compete with them I think. But not many do LOL
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Brandon for the chat.