Andre Lockhart(London Lions) It’s About Sacrificing To Win And Not About Starting Games But Finishing Them

Andre Lockhart is a 34 year old 183 cm point guard that has the Barbados/British citizenship and is a professional basketball player. He played most of his basketball career in Barbados, UK and Germany. He played the last 5 seasons in the UK with The lOndon Lions playing 151 games and will play a sixth season for them in 20-21. He played two seasons in Germany. He split the 2013-2014 season with BG Biggessee (Germany-2.Regionalliga) in Nov.’13 signed at Giants Duesseldorf (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 10 games averaging 11.4ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.5apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 34.1%, 3PT: 21.4%, FT: 55.6%, in Feb.’14 signed at Essex Leopard. He also in 2014-2015 played for BG Topstar Leitershofen/Stadtbergen (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 26 games: 16.8ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.5apg, 2.7spg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT: 80.7%. He played his college career at Rust (NCAA3) and Queens NC (NCAA2). Other stops as a professional have been Sagicor Tridents (Premier League), Newcastle Eagles (United Kingdom-BBL) and Lumber Company Lakers (Premier League). He spoke to about basketball.

Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been despite the COVID_19 crisis?

I’m currently in the UK with my family, we are just trying to stay safe and healthy as possible. My summer has been a strange one. Normally I would only take two weeks off at the end of a season then I would quickly get back to working out. The pandemic cause things in the UK to be closed longer than other countries as we’ve been hit hard with the virus. Players have been forced to workout on outside courts as gyms have been closed until the 25th of July. I’m just eager to get back training as this season is huge and exciting.

Our last interview is 5 years ago. Has time flown by since then and finding a second home with London?

I was born in London so it has always been home. I enjoyed traveling while I was younger to other countries, at the time was even planning on staying in Germany longer term but things didn’t plan out that way and I couldn’t be more grateful to the Lions Organisation for giving me the chance to realize home is where I want to be and playing the game I love with my family.

In the summer of 2015 you were coming off a season in Germany. If someone had told you then that you would play for the same team London Lions in 2020-2021 then what would you have said?

Germany I had a good season, I enjoyed it. Things didn’t workout how I would of liked. Playing for London Lions everything worked out how it was supposed to and I couldn’t be more pleased how they have panned out. I’m happy in London and with my club, the organization is like family. So, still being with my family couldn’t be happier.

I remember the last and only interview we ever did in 2015, you were looking for a team. At that time young German Fabian Beierlein was helping you out. Do you still have contact to him and have you followed his path as an agent?

Fabian is my guy!! He is a great person and we still speak to this day. Actually spoke to him last week and we both still follow each other careers and support each other. He has grown in his career and I’m proud of him.

You will be going into your sixth season with the London Lions. How blessed do you feel to have been able to play so long for this club?

Full of energy and excitement. The pandemic has put so many things into perspective for me, I know my role with my team when my number is called I’ll be ready. I feel extremely blessed to be able to play this long period, God has truly blessed me and I’m so thankful.

What has been the secret to your longevity with London Lions? You have never averaged more than 6,5ppg in a season, but still the club always wants you back.

Not much of a secret, I’m a hard worker and I know my role with this team. Being one of the veteran guys for this club, we take pride in the culture that has been set and when my number is called I try to just play my game .

How important was head coach Nigel Lloyd in your early time there for being able to find yourself and be able to be successful?

Head coach Nigel Lloyd was huge for my career. Being a young kid watching him, then him being a mentor. The Head coach for the Barbados national team and also recruiting me to the Lions. I am nothing but extremely grateful for Nigel towards my career. I’m also happy that in the last national tour he coached, I was on the team that helped him finish with a bronze medal.

In your second season you were teammates with BBL legend Alex Owumi. He wrote a book and seems to always have lasting impressions on teammates. What kind of an experience was it sharing the court with him?

Sharing the court with Alex was cool, he was a good leader always talking to guys and wanting the best for them. He showed me that never to judge a book by it’s cover hahaha, I’m not talking about his actual book by the way which is a great read. Alex is a guy when your in a fight he has your back.

Do you have a special story to tell about Alex Owumi which clearly illustrates the kind of player and person he is?

Alex, great teammate off the court but ultra competitive when on the court. He is one of those players that if you judge him from watching him play you would think he isn’t a nice guy but soon as the game or practice is over genuinely one of the nicest people you will ever meet.

In Germany you were a consistent scorer and player but in the UK BBL you have had a different kind of role. Was that a tough adjustment having to play behind Justin Robinson for the last 3 years?

In Germany yeah I was mainly the guy and I enjoyed being the leader of those teams. My role would of only been tough if I never accepted it. I wanted to be back in the BBL after I didn’t return to Germany. Justin is very talented and deserve all that he gets. I match up with him everyday in practice , so I know first hand. It’s doesn’t bother me coming off the bench on this team, it’s about sacrificing to win and not about starting games but finishing them. 

You have played with many talented big men in your career, but has Brandon Peel belonged to the best of them who will ball in Finland this season.

Brandon is a good player, when he first joined Lions he lacked confidence but that grew over time. It’s hard to say as I’ve played with really talented players. He will do well in Finland, I’m happy for him.

Last season you played with Jules Akodo a guy I covered for some years in Frankfurt. Is he a player that came to you for the important pointers as he saw a mentor in you?

Jules is a good person and works hard at his game, reminds me of myself. Always early and one of the last guys to leave. We have good communication. He is a young player and I’m always willing to help the younger guys as that’s what my vets did for me. Hopefully one day he will pass on his knowledge also to the next generation when that time comes.

How much of an effect do you feel has COVID-19 had on players signings this summer. Do you feel the fact that the London Lions could sign a guy like ex NBA player Deandre Liggins has something to do with it?

I’m not sure to be honest how it has affected players, as I know teams are still operating like normal for the new season. Having an ex NBA player is always good for any club in Europe and to be honest Liggins signjng with the Lions is huge but we are a club on the come up and it’s great to have a guy proven in the NBA joining us. 

You have played with so much talent in the UK BBL in the last 5 years. You have molded your game after Chris Paul. How do you feel has your game progressed in this time? 

I’ve learnt from so many players and still learning to this day. I’m a vet now and I know my role. Everyone wants to play big mins and show what they can do, but I’m at the point in my career I’m happy with my role and doing my part. Chris Paul I still study but I also study other small guards like Fred Van Fleet, Shabazz Napier and other small guards to see how they can impact the game, also those two mainly because they come off the bench and impact the games by scoring or getting others involved.

You will be playing your sixth season with the London Lions. Is this a club where you feel you will end your career with?

I know all good things come to and end but I never put that in my thought process. I love this club and it has become my family. Let’s say I hope when I’m ready to hang it up this club will be the club my last game will be with. 

You had many great personal games like your 18 point game against Surrey, 17 point game against Manchester and scored 16 points twice against Sheffield. Was one of these your most memorable games or did you have another?

Honestly having a high scoring game doesn’t make games a great game. I’ve had games in the BBL when I’ve scored more than 20 also but in the BBL we have different competitions like the trophy, cup, championships and playoffs. Not sure if it was the cup or trophy I had my highest scoring game. Winning the championship was my most exciting moment. It was against the team where I started my pro career so to win on that floor was very special as I still have fans there that I love dearly. 

You have been a resident of London for 5 years. How cool has it been being able to call London home and what has been your coolest experience living in the capital of Great Britain?

It’s very cool as I was born in London, so to be able to play for this club is beyond a blessing. My family is here and I’ve made numerous friends who I’ve become close with. I don’t really have a coolest experience, being born here and leaving at young age, I would always spend my summers in West London until I moved to the USA. So here has always been my home. 

Will you be following end of NBA season? Do you feel like a surprise team might win it all?

Yeah definitely! I’m a Lakers fan since 96 so Lakers all day! 

Please name your best 5 teammates of all-time:

Some of my best never made it pro, but here I go 
Ormond Haynes- Junior level in Barbados national team 
Daniel Bailey- Pro / College teammate
Joe Ikimwin – London lions teammate 
Junior Moore- Barbados national player
Kai Williams – former teammate

Please construct your personal own NBA Mount Rushmore with 4 heads past or present?

MJ, Kobe, Magic and Shaq. 

Where were you when you heard about the death of Kobe Bryant? How much of an influence did he have on your game growing up?

I was at home on the couch, when someone messaged me, I thought they were joking so I quickly went on social media and then Google, still don’t want to accept it. He had a huge influence on me, his mentality, work ethic and ability just inspired a kid without having a real relationship or idea that I existed.

Why isn’t Kobe Bryant mentioned more in the debate between the best of all-time between Michael Jordan and Lebron James?

I think he is. We live in a world of what happens right this minute seem to take precedence. Lebron is that guy still and Jordan is still seen as that Goat. Kobe is a better player than Lebron even with their different skill sets. If Kobe is supposed to be a clone of MJ then how couldn’t Kobe be rated highly. I get it tho different era and different criteria for who is the Goat.

What was the last movie that you saw?

The last movie I saw was Fatal Attraction with my girl, it wasn’t a great movie but you know how it does when you start something you just have to finish it.

Thanks Andre for the chat.

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