Posted On: 10/1/18 9:18 AM
Since head coach Kris Johnson stepped foot on West Nottingham Academy’s campus last season, he has been determined to spread a winning culture. Last year the Rams finished with a 19-13 overall record and this upcoming season, they look to build upon that even with a challenging schedule. One player who will be instrumental in their success is senior guard Justinas Leganovic.
We caught up with the 6-foot-3 Lithuanian guard last week during an open gym.
PH: With this being your second year here both at West Nottingham and in the United States, reflect back on last year and how the transition was for you.
JL: Oh it was tough coming from Europe to the U.S. I didn’t know anything about the school and I didn’t know what to expect. Once the season came around everything went well. We didn’t do as well as we wanted to, but Coach Johnson recruited a bunch of players so I’m hoping we’ll make some noise.
PH: What was your biggest adjustment in terms of on the floor and what was your biggest adjustment for your every day lifestyle?
JL: The game is much faster. I remember my first game, I was walking the ball up, but quickly learned in the American game you need to run all of the time (laughs). Living here isn’t much different. The weather is pretty similar. The biggest thing is not having my family here, but I hope to visit them around Christmas.
PH: So what was your summer like? Was there AAU or more of camps that were held throughout?
JL: Lithuania is a big basketball country, so I played in a lot of summer leagues and went to a lot of camps.
PH: What were some things that you wanted to focus on over the spring and summer and that you felt like you improved on?
JL: I think I improved on playing faster and being tougher because in Europe you don’t play like that much. I definitely need to gain some muscle, so that’s something I want to keep improving on this season.
PH: Do you watch a lot of college basketball?
JL: Yeah, I started watching it a lot last year. Before that, I never really did because of the time difference, but now that I started watching it, I really liked it.
PH: If you had to describe your game to someone who has never seen you play, how would you do so?
JL: I’m a pass first point guard who can also shoot. I can run an offense and do a little bit of everything.
PH: Who are some players that you find yourself studying to implement some of what they do into your game?
JL: I really like pass first point guards. Ricky Rubio and Tony Parker are the first ones that come to my mind. So those kind of point guards. Of course I love watching Kyrie Irving, too.
PH: Coach told me that Elon has strong very strong interest in you, have you heard from any other schools?
JL: Not really. Just Elon.
PH: How about in the classroom? How is school going for you and how do the grades look?
JL: School is going well. I have a 3.5 GPA, so I hope this year will be even better. I’m not exactly sure what I want to major in yet, but I’m leaning towards business