AN INTERVIEW WITH LAHTI BASKETBALL & CENTRAL CONNECTICUT FOWARD BRANDON PEEL
Brandon Peel, 6’7” power forward born and raised in Maryland, USA. Known for his strong defence, large wingspan, effortless finishing and shooting around the rim.
Graduating from Central Connecticut University in 2016, where Brandon was a cornerstone of the defence whilst averaging 12 points and 9 rebounds along with 1.5 blocks a game. He grabbed 18 double doubles in his senior season finishing second in the conference in rebounding.
He has spent the last 3 seasons playing for the London Lions, taking on a large role during his time with the team helping them win their first championship and taking home BBL Cup MVP.
During this off-season he signed a new deal with Finnish club Lahti.
You had 3 successful years at the London Lions, how was helping lead a team to their first championship and picking up the BBL Cup MVP as well?
Playing for the Lions was definitely an experience that any pro player could ask for. I was welcomed into the fold early by my teammates and coaches and even though I didn’t start seeing major minutes until mid-way through my first year, it definitely helped me to learn what it takes to compete and win at the professional level. The Lions have always put the goal of winning and securing championships before anything else and that mentality while being surrounded by a bunch of vets who were hungry to win was only fuel to the fire for us to succeed. Winning a championship was great feeling of course but winning an MVP award was just icing on the cake as my second year as a pro so I’m extremely proud of that experience.
You attended Central Connecticut for four years, how was your time as a blue devil?
Playing for Central Connecticut I would say was a character-building experience. I played on a team with a bunch of talented guys but we couldn’t really figure out how to win much together so when you’re a losing team that’s fighting for wins every night you get to learn about yourself and your teammates about what it takes to win and keeping a positive attitude even when you are struggling as a group. At the same time, I had an old school hardnosed coach who valued effort and grit more than anything else so I definitely believed that his coaching was key for me developing my drive and competitive spirit as a player.
Your about to start your season with Finnish club Lahti, how are you feeling about this new chapter?
I’m extremely excited to be playing for Lahti in the Korisliga Finnish League. I’m always welcoming new challenges to my game and playing at the European level will definitely test my skills and improvement as a player and teammate. So far the majority of the team is composed of a young coaching staff and a great group of young guys who just want to win, just like me so I think things here will work out just fine and if all goes well we can make some serious noise in the playoffs.
Any advice or goals for younger players looking to make it to a league or play abroad?
Lastly, my advice for younger players who are seeking a long and successful professional basketball career would be to master their fundamentals and learn to play good defence. I’ve gotten as far as I have because I can shoot and rebound very well as an undersized 4 man and I’ve worked hard on developing other parts of my game. Versatility is valued very highly at the next level and the more versatile you are, the more opportunities you’ll have to prove what you can do. And of course, always work harder than your competition. Everyone wants to play at the highest level but only the hardest workers make it very far and for very long.