Hayden Lescault is a 26 year old 196cm guard from Folsam, California that recently completed his third professional season and first with the ScanPlus Baskets Elchingen (Germany-ProB) averaging 14,0ppg, 4,7rpg and 3,8apg.. Last season he played with the Glasgow Rocks (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 35 games averaging 12.9ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.5apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 57.1%, 3PT: 31.4%, FT: 75.3%. As a rookie he played with BG Karlsruhe (Germany-ProB) playing 25 games averaging 13.8ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 55.1%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 71.8%. He played at Point Loma (NCAA2) from 2011-2015 and as a senior played 21 games averaging 11.5ppg, 4.1rpg, 3.7apg, 2.1spg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 29.7%, FT: 78.7%. In his junior season he won the NCAA 2 title and played 30 games averaging 16.6ppg, 3.5rpg, 3.8apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 38.8%, FT: 72.5%. He spoke to German Hoops after helping the ScanPlus Baskets win the pro B title.
Hayden thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how have you been enjoying your early off season best?
I’m back in Sacramento right now and I’ve just been enjoying being around my family and friends. Working out and golfing.
Did you go rewarding yourself after the great season with some sightseeing in Europe or did you go home right away? If so what was the first eatery that you went to on your return home?
I was actually on a plane home only 3 days after the final and I went straight to Chipotle.
Congrats on winning the PRO B. This was the season goal. Was the team and you able to enjoy as much as if you hadn´t been expected to win?
Every year that you start up with a new team the goal is to win the league. We had a lot of early success which lead to big expectations and to see it all the way through was a great experience. Winning a championship for the club is something that will never be forgotten.
You guys had many great wins, but was that last home win against Rostock which sealed the title the biggest and the best season performance?
I would say so. Going into the last game down 1 point on aggregate and going out and preforming like we did was amazing. We knew we had the team to win a title but to win the final by 20 in front of our home crowd was more than anyone expected.
Rostock played you tough in Rostock, but you took care of business in the return game at home winning 85-67. What was the key to the win?
The bench was a big factor in this game. We played team ball all season and it showed in the playoffs and especially in the final. It’s hard to beat a team that plays so well together.
You stated in our last interview about the ScanPlus Baskets. “, I don’t think there’s any special secret or anything like that. We have a good group of guys that all play for each other and share a common goal of wanting to win the championship. Our team has Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian, American, and German players. Every guy brings a little something different to the table and it has been a perfect fit”. Now when you look back at the season what were you most proud of?
I’m proud that we all stuck together through the ups and downs of the season. We had some trying times but never splintered. No one ever lost the belief that we would win the title.
Besides getting that winning mentality and executing on the court, how special was the team confidence? In our last interview you stressed, “We definitely have the confidence to win the title. We’ve worked hard all season for that goal and I think we will make it happen”. You were sprouting with confidence then and it must have continued to grow?
Ya it only grew from there. As soon as we hit the playoffs we kicked it to another gear and our confidence in our team was through the roof.
When you look back at the season and the success of the ScanPlus Baskets what will you remember most about this special group of guys. Did you guys leave the floor as brothers?
Absolutely, as soon as the final buzzer blew every guy was hugging each other and celebrating for one another and that’s all you can ask of a team.
Let´s talk a little about your teammates. How vital was the veteran Stefan Fekete for the success of the team and your game? It may not show as much from the stats, but was he one of the best point guards in the Pro B just with his leadership skills?
Stefan was great for us this year. He was a pass first point guard who set a lot of guys up and helped us win a lot of games.
How did you come to appreciate your teammate Filmore Beck. He has been through some hard times, but really stepped it up with this club in his third season. What have you respected most about his development?
Fil is a BBL caliber player in my opinion and I’d be surprised if he didn’t take a big step up in this off season. He’s an incredible shooter and can score at will.
So much experience on the club with three guys 30 or older. How did you witness the season of 38 year old Marin Petric? Did you ever wonder to yourself if you might still be playing at his age or do you already know that most likely might not be happening?
Marin was a great captain and leader for us. I know I won’t be playing to that age, but for him to go out every day and bring it at 38 was impressive.
Let´s talk about your game. You averaged 14,0ppg,4,7rpg and 3,8apg and shot 32% from outside. It was your best season as a professional in terms of these stats. How content were you with your third professional season?
I’m happy with the way that I played. There is always room for improvement but stats are just a minor part of the game. Helping lead a team to a championship was all that was on my mind.
On a team that had many veterans and experience, how vital did you see your leadership skills come into view? How were they strengthened this season with the vast amount of experience?
Having so many veterans on our team was a big part of our success. We didn’t get rattled in big moments and guys stepped up when the time was right.
In our last interview you stated how your role had changed saying “In the first half of the season I was a go to guy but now with defenses paying closer attention to me, it’s getting other guys open shots and open shots win games”. How did being able to accept this change help shape your game more in the stretch run?
That was an easy transition for me. A lot of guys come overseas chasing individual glory but that has never been my game. As long as the team is winning I’m happy. If that means I need to score 30 to win or 5, it doesn’t matter to me as long as we get W’s.
You stated this about your three point shot in our last interview. “I’ve spent way too many hours getting shots up in my life to ever lose confidence in my shot. I’m obviously not happy with the way I’ve shot the ball recently but I still think the next one is going in”. Your confidence will always be there, but is there always something you can change up on the mechanics or is confidence and reps your continued shooting path for success?
My mechanics are there it’s just all about getting reps up for me. Our coaching staff had a lot of confidence in me and even got on me to shoot more in games so I just try to take my open shots and I know I’ve put the work in for them to drop.
What is the next step for you? You had a solid Pro B season. Are you ready to get back to a higher level?
I’m definitely ready for the next step. We will see what this summer brings as far as different leagues or countries.
How will a summer workout look like for you this summer? On what things do you want to improve on for next season? You’re a very versatile player. On what things do you feel can you continue to work on to make that next step in that area?
Just staying in the gym really. Every aspect of the game can be crafted and perfected each day. So I’ll be working all summer waiting on the next opportunity.
Who was the toughest player that you battled this season in the Pro B?
Deandre Ayton was the #1 NBA draft pick in 2018. But having been in Europe this season you must of seen some highlights of Real Madrid´s 19 year old stand out Luca Doncic who belonged to the best players in the Euroleague. Should a guy like that be the automatic #1 pick just from sheer experience and talent?
I would take Luka #1
Lebron James makes amazing passes in every game, but really showcased it in a game this season against the Los Angeles Lakers. He already is like a point guard, but if he played just point guard and concentrated only on playmaking how many assists do you feel would he average per game?
If he wanted to, he could easily lead the league in assists. But his team needs him to score. If he focused just on assist, at least 15.
Why do you feel couldn´t the Oklahoma Thunder function properly with three superstars. What do you think will be the next step for this club?
Russ is very ball dominant and their styles of play didn’t match. I don’t see a bright future for them.
A poll of NBA coaches voted for coach of the year and Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens got no vote. How can that happen considering how he has developed the team in the last few years. Is there jealously among the coaches?
I have no idea how that happened. I think he deserves coach of the year.
Will the Boston Celtics be able to win the NBA championship next year with Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving and their nice supporting cast?
I don’t see them beating the Warriors.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Hayden for the chat.