Lions’ guard on London living, the NBA draft, season ambitions, and the future of British basketball.

Q: We’re getting to the business end of the season, with EuroCup playoffs around the corner and League play ramping up - how are you feeling about the rest of the season?

A: I’m feeling really good about the rest of the season. I think everything we’ve done up until this point has been building for a successful last few months. We’ve battled through adversity with injuries, fatigue, and travel. But I feel like we are peaking at the right time and we will come back stronger and more prepared to end the season.

Q: With such a busy schedule, how do you balance your personal life with your professional basketball career? And what helps you unwind off the court?

A: It’s not too hard to balance everything but it can be challenging at times. I try to relax as much as possible and I do that by watching TV and playing video games. Obviously, I hang out with my friends whenever we get a chance, but I like to call my family back home and hang out with my girlfriend whenever she has free time. I’ve gotten into golfing a little bit too.

Defying the Odds:

Q: You signed with the Toronto Raptors for summer league play in 2019. What was going through your mind during that period, and how did it fuel your determination to continue pursuing your dream at the professional level?

A: The biggest thing going through my mind at that time was just excitement to be with the defending champs at the time, and to showcase my skills on the highest level. I wanted to impress them whether it was how hard I worked on the court or my personality off the court. I will never forget that summer league because it had such an impact on me as a basketball player.

It fueled my love for basketball and motivation to continue getting better because I was playing with the defending champs and playing well. I had Jordan Loyd on my team at the time and he was and still is such a big influence for me. I just wanted to get to that level by any means necessary and not only prove my doubters wrong, but prove myself right in the fact that I can play at that level and have success individually and as a team.

Q: From the NBA G League to the Turkish Basketball First League and the French Pro A and now the British Basketball League, you've played in various leagues across the globe. How has experiencing different basketball cultures influenced your playing style and overall approach to the game?

A: I think each level I have played at has taught me something different! Whether it was how to excel in a limited role in the G League where I wasn’t the star. In Turkey getting swagger back and playing through the physicality of overseas basketball. In France learning how to think the game more and become more of a lead guard, while being able to score the ball. To now being in the BBL and Eurocup and learn how to play with so much talent and manage my body with all the games we play. Every step of my journey has taught me so much and I can’t do anything but thank all the coaches and teammates I have had along the way! They are the biggest reason I am where I am now and continue to be successful.

London Calling:

Q: You signed with us in the Summer. What drew you to this opportunity, and what are your expectations for this new chapter in your career?

A: Living in a country that speaks English was a big thing! But seeing the foundation for what was being built in this great city was a huge thing! The roster of guys and my role coming in I thought was just a perfect fit to take this team to another level! Also, learning from guys like Sam, Tarik, Jordan was a huge thing for me as well.

Q: How are you finding your time in London so far, compared to living in France last season?

A: I loved my time in France and wouldn’t trade it for anything. But London is just a different animal in itself. There’s so much to do and so many people who come in and out of the city. I am having so much fun living here and meeting all these amazing people. It’s also just a little bit bigger than Le Mans, France haha.

Q: You played against Victor Wembyana during your time at Le Mans, what was he like to share the court with?

A: It was amazing to share the court with a generational talent like him. The first time we played them we went back and forth in an overtime game and I think that’s when our respect for each other as competitors and hoopers grew. From there we became friends and I will always tell people he is the best player I’ve played against in my life. There is no one like him and I don’t think there will be anyone else like him. If I was going to lose MVP of the French league to anyone I’m glad it was him.

Q: Who has been the toughest opponent you've faced this year?  In the British Basketball or EuroCup.

A: I would say Paris Basket is the toughest team I’ve faced all year. Their style of play is so fast and they come at you in waves. Everyone knows their roles and they do very well with that. They are the number one seed for a reason and I hope we get to match up with them again in the playoffs.

Q: What is your favourite moment of your time in London so far?

A: I would have to say individually it was the game where I hit nine threes against the Newcastle Eagles. That game I just felt in the zone and everything I shot I thought was going in. As a team I think it was the Besiktas game at home in front of a sold out crowd. The atmosphere was absolutely crazy the whole game and I think that was our most dominant game all season.

Q: What are your thoughts on the current state of basketball in the UK?

A: I think the state of basketball here is in good hands. The league and the popularity is rising and I think not only fans are noticing but players around the world are taking notice. The talent coming into the league is high level and I think the parody will only continue to get stronger in the next few seasons.

Q: What’s your favourite basketball shoe to wear? And what are you wearing now?

A: I am New Balance through and through. Any New Balance sneaker is my favourite!

Q: Who is the worst-dressed teammate?

A:  I’m not going to say anyone can’t dress on our team but I will say we are working on Conor’s swag off the court!

Q: Who controls the locker room music, who’s the DJ?

A:  Donte Grantham. We have certain songs we listen to before every game and he is in charge of the tunes anywhere we go!

Q: To finish up. If you could invite 3 NBA Hall-Of-Famers round for dinner. Who’s getting an invite?

A:  If we are including future Hall of Famers then I will say Steph Curry, Tim Duncan, and Diana Taurasi.

Excluding future Hall of Famers then I will say Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan.


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