Simonas Lukosius is a 18 year old 199cm guard from Lithuania that is playing his second season in the Dragons Rhondorf organization. Last season he played with the Rhondorf U-19 team averaging 16.3ppg, 5.1rpg, 3.3apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 39.6%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 87.1%. In the Regionalliga he averaged 8,0ppg, 2,0rp and 2,0apg last season. He also played with the FC Bayern Munich U18 team (Germany-ANGT) playing 4 games averaging 13.5ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT-5 (94.7%). He spoke to germanhoops.com about his basketball career
Simonas thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how much do you miss basketball at the moment?
I’m still here in Germany waiting for the season to continue, fortunately I have been able to practice so it’s not that bad but I do miss the games since we haven’t had any in the past weeks.
Before I get to the current season explain a bit how tough the last 7-8 months was with COVID-19? What was the most challenging thing that you had to encounter on a daily basis?
I think it was tough for everyone, personally my biggest challenge was that I was in my last year of school and it wasn’t that easy to graduate in those circumstances, but I think it went quite well.
How do you feel has COVID-19 helped you become stronger as a man with everything that you have experienced off the court)
Thankfully the virus didn’t really affect me personally that much so it hasn’t been a huge challenge in my life and hopefully it stays that way and everything goes back to normal soon.
After losing the first game at home against Ibbenburen, the Dragons Rhondorf won the next 3 games and then COVID-19 hit. How difficult is it having this break. Are you confident once the season resumes that the club will be able to continue to be successful on the court?
For sure we would have liked the season to continue so we could take advantage of the momentum we had, but I am confident that we can pick up where we left off once we start playing again.
Are the Dragons Rhondorf practicing now or has head coach Yassin Idbihi given the players special duties so they can stay in shape?
I’m not sure how it’ll be this week but up until now we have been practicing.
The Dragons Rhondorf had huge difficulty defending last season and want to be a lot better this season. In the last 2 games the club allowed only 65 points on average. How are the Dragons a better defensive team this season?
I think it mostly comes down to the fact that the roster this year is different, we have a much younger team and that naturally transitions that we play better, more energetic defense.
Let’s talk a bit about your teammates. How vital has the experience of German Paul Albrecht been? What kind of an effect has he had on you on and off the court?
Paul has been very important, he’s a very good player and also helps us young guys out so he’s a perfect veteran for our team.
The club is so young these season with very many young players. If you had to choose one player that has impressed you the most who would it be?
I would say Bruno Albrecht. He is a very creative and talented player and has a very good work ethic and attitude. He has been playing well this season and I’m sure he will continue having good performances.
How talented is Ousmane Ndiaye? Curtis Hollis said in a podcast that this guy is going to be great: How have you seen his development and just how good is he?
I completely agree with Curtis. Ousmane is a once in a generation talent and if he keeps on working and developing the way he is now there is no limit for what he can achieve.
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 199cm guard that is very versatile. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?
I would like to say Luka Doncic. I remember watching a Euroleague game and Luka was still 16 and was playing a couple minutes at the end of the game and my dad told me to pay attention to how he plays. I started following him ever since then and it’s crazy considering what he has achieved already and back then he was just barely getting minutes in Madrid.
Yassin idbihi wants to use you a lot more as a point guard this season. What has been the most challenging thing for you playing the point guard position in the Regionalliga?
The biggest challenge is finding a good balance between being a scorer and a facilitator for others. Now I have more stuff to take care of when I’m on the court but I like it and I believe I’ll get much better at it throughout the season.
On what area’s on defense do you feel do you need to improve on the most?
I think I need to improve on the mental part the most. Being always ready and awake is something I need to work on to be better and more consistent on defense.
You are not seen as a selfish player, but could practice more 1-1 in games. Do you see yourself developing more of a mid range game?
I definitely feel that I am taking less mid range shots this season than the last couple years. I do want to work on it and I think it can be an important part of my game.
You went 0/9 in the first game and then 10/17 from outside in the next games. Did you change anything up in the days after the poor Ibbenburen shooting or was that game just one of those nights where nothing fell?
I just shot extra before and after every practice and that just helped me keep my confidence and fortunately the shots started falling in the games as well.
What kind of an impact has Yassin Idbihi had on you? How has he been able to help you develop best since you arrived?
The impact has been huge, if you compare me now to how I was when I just came here last summer the difference is insane.
Last season you played your first season in Germany for the Dragons Rhondorf averaging 8/2/2 stats in the Regionalliga and shooting an impressive 48% from outside. How do you feel did your game mature best as a 17 year old playing with men?
I think it was very good for my development that everyday in practice I was competing against players who have so much experience and I think playing and practicing against men helped me get better at nearly every aspect of basketball.
Last season you had the opportunity to be at the Addidas Next generation tournament with the FC Bayern Munich U-18 team. How important was it for your self confidence that you played very well against the best young players?
It was definitely important. I didn’t know what to expect at first, but the coach showed a lot of trust in me and I played well and it was a great experience.
What kind of an adjustment was it being an outsider playing for FC Bayern Munich that mostly had Munich players? Did you feel respect from your teammates as you came in and played well?
The team was very friendly as soon as I came there so it really wasn’t that big of an adjustment being a guest player. The whole team spirit was very good so I think everyone had respect for each other regardless of who was playing well and who wasn’t.
What impression did you have of Sasha Grant who has played BBL and young German Benjamin Schroeder that won the 2019 JBBL title. What impressed you most about their games?
They’re both great players with huge potential. Sasha is very physically gifted and has a great combination of size, athleticism and skill. Benjamin is very crafty and good at getting to the basket as well as finishing. I’m sure they both will have great careers.
Talk a little about your childhood in Lithuania and why you came to Germany? What are your goals in the next 3-4 years?
My father is a basketball coach so I’ve been playing basically my whole life, I wanted to play somewhere else than Lithuania and the opportunity came and I thought it would be a good decision to come here. My goal is to improve as much as I can and play at the highest level possible.
Who wins a one on one in practice you or Pal Ghotra?
I win the one on one.
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
Curtis Hollis, Azuolas Tubelis, Augustas Marciulionis, Sasha Grant and Emilis Butkus.
Please construct your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present NBA players?
Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson
What was the last movie that you saw?
Some horror movie I watched with a couple of friends. I don’t even know the name of.
Thanks Simonas for the chat.