London Lions' Lockhart reveals the challenges they're facing this season

Andre Lockhart attacks for London Lions (pic Graham Hodges)

Andre Lockhart attacks for London Lions (pic Graham Hodges) - Credit: Archant

London Lions point-guard Andre Lockhart reveals the challenges around enduring lockdowns and playing matches behind closed doors this season. 

The 34-year-old, who is now in his sixth season with the Lions, believes it’s even more important to spur on team-mates when there are no fans at home or away matches. 

The Lions are sitting top of the BBL and have progressed into the BBL Cup final. 

“This year has been very challenging from pre-season to travelling, to even the games,” Lockhart said. 

“Travelling has always been how it has been, you go up the night before, but the games are totally different. Normally when you’re the home team you feed energy off the home crowd. 

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“One thing about myself, and I know a lot of other players, we love going to away arenas because when you make a big play, the whole crowd make a gasp. So it’s very hard to play games sometimes. 

“At the end of the day the whole team has to get onto each other because we could be in a situation where we have no sports at all. 

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“We’ve all got to rally as much as we can, push each other and just enjoy the game because we’re pretty blessed to still be able to play. A lot of leagues around Europe have been shut down or not been able to play due to financial support. 

“For the BBL and government to be helping us with grants has been really good.” 

The Barbados international also revealed how tough the first national lockdown in the UK was for not just him but all sportsmen. 

“We were at the point in the season when it was kicking into high gear, where everyone was trying to win the league. We were tied in first place and we had a bunch of games in hand. 

“It was hard, the season came to a complete stop and there were rumours of we might continue or we might not. 

“There were no indoor facilities available and it was me running outside and working on cardio, doing things to help me in case something miraculously happened.  

“Everyone went through it, it wasn’t just myself, but a lot of people came together and even a lot of teams came together. 

“London Lions recruited well in that period and topped up from last season. Hopefully this season doesn’t come to a halt as we don’t know what the government will suggest. 

“Every day is a challenge and as you know, if you can’t field a team in our league you automatically forfeit the game. 

“That’s even tougher. We get temperatures and symptoms checked every day, it’s been a challenging year and the sad thing is it’s not even close to being over. 

“We still have a very long way to go.” 

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