Donald Lawson is a 27 year old 208cm center from Chicago that completed his sixth professional season in Germany and second with SC Rasta Vechta. He played with BV Chemnitz from 2010-2014 playing a total of 118 Pro A games and two seasons ago played 30 games: 9.7ppg, Reb-2(9.4rpg), 1.4apg, 1.3spg, Blocks-5(1.3bpg), FGP: 47.0%, FT: 56.5%. Last season for SC Rasta Vechta he played 35 games averaging 2.6ppg, 4.4rpgHe started his basketball career at W.Michigan (NCAA) from 2006-2010 playing a total of 115 NCAA games. He spoke to German Hoops after the season ended.
Thanks Donald for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on moving up to the Beko BBL. Does the fact that the team move up lessen the hurt a bit of not winning the title?
Our goal was to win the title. We had a great season, but we want to finish on top. I’m sure it will be a dog fight between us and Jena.
SC Rasta Vechta and Science City Jena split the regular season series 1-1 and no game was decided by more than five points. However in game one SC Rasta Vechta was creamed 80-54. How could a devastating loss like that happen in a playoff final game?
Jena executed their game plan perfectly. They moved the ball well and buried us early. It was hard to slow them down once they got going.
Would you agrees that the title was more or less lost with that game one loss?
No, not at all. We battled and tied the point difference in the third quarter, it’s just really hard to maintain such a huge lead for a quarter and a half. Good teams will always find ways to score.
In game one Science City Jena hit 13 more three pointers, had the 23-8 assist advantage, played their usual strong defense keeping you at 1/12 from downtown. Did you have any feeling from the start of the game that these would be one of those nights where nothing would really go right from a team standpoint?
In the championship round anything is bound to happen. We knew they would come out to play their best game, at the highest level and intensity for 40 minutes. We buried ourselves with a bad start, which they capitalized on.
Sc Rasta Vechta gave a very spirited effort in game two winning 92-77, but needed to score even more with 27 points to capture the title. How proud are you still of the team of making this good last game effort?
The 2015-2016 SC RASTA Vechta team was a band of brothers whom I will forever remember for the simple fact that no matter what obstacles stood against us we found a way every game to make sure we played and left everything out on the court. To lose as we did in Jena, and then come home to compete the way we did and almost pull off the impossible, is why I’m proud to be a part of this team. We showed a lot of character consistently throughout the season.
Sc Rasta Vechta was leading 75-51 after three quarters and were on a good way of possibly eclipsing the 26 points and getting the title. Did the team get tired down the stretch having to keep producing against their aggressive defense while containing their offense?
It’s really hard to keep any team down plus 20 points. Pride comes into play, but when a league title is on the line you need to make the necessary shots to secure a league championship.
What do you feel overall was missing this season from winning the German pro A title?
We accomplished a lot this year but fell short of winning a league title.
SC Rasta Vechta was stacked with many very experienced guys, but also some younger players. If you had to choose one player who you feel was most improved who would you chose?
Ollie.(Oliver Mackeldanz). He has continued to improve and get better over the course of the season.
Do you feel like with many experienced ex Beko BBL players that the team will try to hold most of the team and carry that momentum and chemistry into the Beko BBL next season?
I’m not sure. We will have to wait and see how things play out. But I’m sure they will want to build a competitive team to compete in the Beko BBL, like Wurzburg and Giessen did.
In the last two seasons your role really changed very much from what you were doing back with BV Chemnitz. Was it easier getting used to your role in the second season than in your first?
It’s always an adjustment when roles change. You just have to make sacrifices for what’s best for the team.
Do you feel like your time has come to an end with SC Rasta Vechta or could you imagine returning for a third season and playing in the Beko BBL?
We will have to wait a see. I’m not sure what will happen.
What was your personal season highlight on the court with SC Rasta Vechta?
The entire season was a highlight. There are too many moments to just pick one.
Who was the most difficult player that you had to battle on the court this season in the Pro A?
Honestly, the most difficult player to battle was my teammate DA. He had a variety of moves and a counter to every primary move he made.
If you had to build an NBA Rushmore which 4 players would you choose to stand out?
Jordan, Erving, B.Russell, Oscar Robertson.
Which two NBA teams do you see reaching the NBA final?
Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Donald for the chat.