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Lockhart to play in Germany


JUSTIN MARVILLE

Lockhart to play in Germany

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ANDRE LOCKHART is taking his talents back to Europe.
Barbados’ best will be joining the pro ranks once again after recently signing an eight-month contract to play with BG Biggessee in Germany’s Regionalliga for the upcoming basketball season.
It marks a much-awaited return to professional basketball for the 27-year-old point guard, who previously had a stint in the British Basketball League (BBL) with Newcastle Eagles during the 2010/2011 season.
“This is really a blessing because I’ve been working really hard to get an opportunity like this,” said Lockhart in a telephone interview with NATIONSPORT.
“I work out at least five times a week doing a lot of running and agility stuff because the guys over there are working hard and not slacking off.
“You have to be dedicated to your craft, if not everything comes crumbling down,” he added.
A gifted playmaker from his school days at Coleridge and Parry, Lockhart truly distanced himself from his peers after graduating from NCAA Division II school Queen’s University of Charlotte.
The starting national point guard then appeared to reach the height of his powers when he gained a roster spot on then British Basketball League champs Newcastle Eagles on a year’s contract.
But Lockhart wasn’t re-signed for the following season despite receiving rave reviews from managing director Paul Blake, who described the heady floor general as a good project the club was hoping to keep in the long term.
The job market looked bleak as the English-born basketballer failed to get a meaningful offer for the last two seasons without the opportunity to showcase his skills at the national level.
“Numerous times I really thought about giving this all up,” Lockhart admitted about not getting his original contract renegotiated.
“It was a big let-down for me, especially when we didn’t go to the 2011 Caribbean Championships and then this year’s tournament was called off, because I always look forward to playing for my country and at a high level.”
“But I had my people encouraging me to stay on and I just worked really hard, looking for opportunities to keep myself ready for when this time came,” he added.
Arguably the country’s best player, Lockhart more than bounced back this year while winning his first ever finals MVP trophy when he led Lumber Company Lakers to their fourth Premier League title after averaging 20.4 points and a league best 5.8 assists in the regular season.
Lockhart is slated to leave the country today to join Biggessee during their training camp ahead of the exhibition opener on Saturday.
The top-flight top guard should return home in May in time to prepare for next year’s Caribbean championships.

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