Lamonte Bearden (191-G-95, college: WKU) is a 25 year old 191cm point guard from Germantown, Wisconsin that will be playing his third professional season and first in Germany with the wiha Panthers Schwenningen. Last season he split time with Ramat Gan City Center (Israel-National League) playing 6 games averaging 13.8ppg, 4.0rpg, 5.2apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 54.8%, 3FGP: 36.4%, FT: 75.8%, in Dec.’20 moved to Maccabi Kiryat Motzkin (Israel-National League) 17,8ppg, 5,4rpg, 7,0apg, 1,3spg and shot 43% from outside. In his rookie season he played with Duzce Belediye (Turkey-TBL) playing 6 games averaging 19.3ppg, 4.2rpg, 5.5apg, 2.3spg, FGP: 54.3%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 59.3%. He began his basketball career at Germantown High School. He then played 63 NCAA games at the The University of Buffalo (NCAA) averaging: 8.3ppg, 2.8rpg, 4.4apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 41.8%, 3PT: 26.1%, FT: 74.0% as a freshman and in his second year averaged 13.7ppg, 2.9rpg, 4.2apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 46.8%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 76.7%. He then played 59 NCAA games at Western Kentucky University (NCAA) averaging 11.6ppg, 2.3rpg, 3.5apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 32.8%, FT: 82.1% and as a senior averaged 9.2ppg, 2.4rpg, 4.5apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 42.9%, 3PT: 38.6%, FT: 69.4%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.
Thanks Lamonte for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is your off season life going?
Thank you I appreciate you for doing this interview with me. I am currently in Milwaukee working out with a great group of guys at athlete performance. This off season life hasn’t been that bad considering I played in Israel this season and got to get better and experience more
You played this past season in Israel. How did you experience the whole COVID drama in Israel? What were the biggest challenges that you occurred on and off the court?
I played in Israel this past season and it had its ups and downs. There wasn’t really any big challenges besides gyms closing down and not being able to leave your home
With everything that you experienced off the court with COVID, how do you feel did COVID make you stronger as a man?
I feel COVID put me and a lot of other guys in tough positions but made me not take anything for granted. COVID made me realize that one minute basketball could be here the next minute it’s not. It gives you a chance to learn and find other things besides basketball. It also gives you new ways and ideas to workout with the limited access
Aber playing your first two seasons in Turkey and Israel, you now will play your third professional season in Germany with the wiha Panthers Schwenningen. What do you know in general about the country Germany? And it’s basketball?
I have heard nothing but good things about the country Germany. Since I was a kid if anyone said anything about professional basketball besides the NBA it was Germany or France. So I know this will be great basketball for me to get better and further my career.
Have you had any ex teammates or opponents that have played in Germany?
I know a couple of guys that have played in Germany before. Luke Fischer who I went to high school with and won a state championship together. Diante Garrett, Dwight Buycks who are also from my home town. There have been a few other guys that I know and have played with
You signed very early with the wiha Panthers. What was so appealing to join this club?
They seem like a good fit for me. They explained to me that they were trying to become a BBL team and that was a challenge that I wanted. Also the Panthers had a good point guard Nate Britt this past season. Also coach seems like he doesn’t care about anything but winning and I loved that
What kind of talks did you have with head coach Alen Velcic? What did he tell you about his basketball philosophy?
I had a good talk with coach. He talked about how he wanted me to play hard and most importantly be a leader. He told me as long as I came in and did my job we would have a good season
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 191cm guard. If you had to compare your game to a NBA player who would best fit the description?
I’m not sure if I play like anyone in the NBA but if I had to throw some guys at you it would be Jrue Holiday, Dennis Schroder, Lou Williams. I like Kyrie Irving’s game.
You’re a player that fills the stat sheet with ease. What would you say is your biggest strength on the court?
My biggest strength is getting to the basket. If that’s scoring it when I get to the basket or passing it. I can shoot the jump shot but nobody can stay in front of me.
You have improved as a professional in terms of overall stats. Your rebounding and assists are up. Is it fair to say that you are a better rebounder and facilitator then when you were a senior in school?
I am working on my vision and my strength to get in there and grab rebounds every day. I think I have grown a lot since high school going through college and now my third year in Germany.
You are a pesky defender. How much pride do you take on the defensive end and can you be that impact player?
I think that I am a good defender and can be great at some times. I think my defense will always turn into my offense so I take pride on defense. Also defense wins games
On what area’s of your game will you be working on most this summer so you come best prepared for the German Pro A?
I will be working on my jump shot and strength. Knowing when the right time to shoot and certain spots to shoot at. My strength will help with everything like finishing and improving my range
Last season you: split time with roni Ramat Gan City Center (Israel-National League) and Maccabi Kiryat Motzkin (Israel-National League).This is a league where players have a lot of freedom. How do you feel did your game grow in this league?
I feel like it was good for me. Me having this freedom I feel like it let me control the game how I wanted to control it. Also having a good relationship with the coach helps those kinds of situations out when we talk about freedom.
As a rookie you played with Duzce Belediye (Turkey-TBL) playing 6 games averaging 19.3ppg, 4.2rpg, 5.5apg, 2.3spg, FGP: 54.3%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 59.3%. What was your wake up call to being overseas for the first time where you knew that you were very far away from home?
I think my first game I played is when I realized how far away I was from home. It is a different kind of feeling when you can get a victory with a great group of guys after a long day
You began your NCAA career at Buffalo and won the MAC tournament twice. Which title was sweeter?
I think the first one. The first one is always the best one. We had everyone there from my first year I won the championship. We had Bobby Hurley, Nate Oats, Justin Moss, Jarryn Skeete, Shannon Evans, just a great group
You played for Bobby Hurley. What kind of an experience was it learning from him and how did he help your game most?
It was great playing for Bobby Hurley. He is a player’s coach. He believes in letting his point guard run the team while he guides you. He taught me a lot in the one year that I played for him
As a freshman you played powerhouse Kentucky losing 71-52. You played against 9 future NBA players including Devin Booker who came from the bench, the Harrison twins, Willie Cauley-Stein, Karl-Anthony Towns and Tyler Ullis just to name a few. You held your own with 8 points. What do you remember from this game and really how much difference in skill level was there really?
This was a good game with a lot of good players on the court. I can remember us winning at halftime and after that they turned into a different team. This was an exciting game. There wasn’t much difference in the skill level that night besides they made more shots than we did and were a little bit taller than we were.
You then finished at Kentucky University (NCAA). What kind of a experience was it playing at this school and how did your game grow in your last two years?
It was a good experience playing at Western because it was a bit different coaching style.
How did head coach Rick Stansbury groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach taught me to slow down and run my team for my last two years. I grew on and off the court learning a lot from guys like Martin Cross and Talvis Franklin on hard work on and off the court. Coach taught me how to always work hard. Everything in life I will have to work for. Everything he taught me helped me deal with other coaches or people I may not agree with in life.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Desaun Murray?
That’s funny. I’m not sure I’ll let him have it but I’m not sure if I played him in practice before
Who was the toughest player that you faced in the NCAA that went to the NBA?
Please name your five best teammates of all-time?
Brian Bearden, Jarryn Skeete, Xavier Ford, Tyler Miller, Taveion Hollingsworth
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
I think that they are two different players. Lebron James could easily score sixty points every other night he’s just a team player. Michael Jordan is doing whatever it takes to win. He does care if the team is happy or not as long as they win. In my opinion that should be the only thing that matters so everyone should be happy
Have you seen the Coming to America sequel? It has had mixed reviews. Shouldn’t they just have left it alone?
No I haven’t seen it but I would like to see it. I think it’s always good to do something twice and if your blessed to do it again after that it’s a success.
Thanks Lamonte for the chat.