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Meet Demonte

Connor Mackay caught up with Demonte Flannigan days after his signing to talk about his decision to turn pro in the BBL and signing with the London Lions.


The London Lions opened their arms with a warm welcome to the newly added forward in the hope that his success in the NCAA can be repeated in the 2017/2018 BBL season.


"I love to interact with fans and love doing things for people outside of basketball such as motivational speaking, signing autographs, reading to children and many more things. I just love people and I believe that is important as a player on a thriving team such as the Lions". - Demonte Flannigan  


The arrival of new signing Demonte


New signing Demonte was quick to express his love for the game, the ex-Cleveland forward reiterated  how important it was for him to pursue a career in the UK just months after graduating from Cleveland State University in Division 1 of the NCAA.


"Although I am only months removed from college, I plan to come over to London and lead my team to a championship. I plan to be one of the top players in the league both offensively and defensively".- Stated Flannigan


From a young age, Demonte has always been enthusiastic about basketball still having the same mind set he had when he first picked up a ball.


"I first discovered that I would pursue basketball in the 5th grade. I was not very good at it but it was the first time I dunked so I figured I could become a good player because I was already so athletic. I was 5'11 at the time". Added Demonte


High School career stats


In Villa Angela-St. Joseph high school, Flannigan caught the attention of the U-16 National Team for the USA as well as being selected to USA Today's all North-East Ohio basketball team as a senior proving his value on a basketball team before heading to Cleveland State.


"At that age, I was not a very good basketball player when I first started but I worked hard every day to become the best. If that was being best in my school or best in the state, I just wanted to be the best version of myself. It turned out I was one of the best in the US but that was because I did not limit myself to just the people around me. Also, my step dad was a big motivation. He was and still is the hardest worker I know personally. I look up to him as far as work ethic and as a man. - Demonte Flannigan


Flannigan's career changing move to England


After spending 11 years pf hoops in the states working on his game, Flannigan feels he can bring something to the Lions to make them contenders again bringing more leadership and new experience to the squad.


Flannigan added, "I play with a lot of enthusiasm and pride because I am so passionate about the game of basketball! I love when I can make a play for another teammate or get the crowd going with a dunk, three pointer, crossover, or a block. I also can bring leadership to the team by example and by communication."


Flannigan's career has taken a new twist with the option to come to England to play basketball after an offer from team owner Vince Macaulay and Head Coach Mariusz Karol to come and play for the London Lions. "I decided to come over from the states to play in the U.K. because it seemed like a great place and opportunity to start my career. It is a beautiful place to be with many things to see and do. I have traveled all over the world but I have never been to England".


"Also, I know a lot about Vince Macaulay and how he went from playing for this organization to owning it, starting out in the Dacorum Leisure Centre in Hemel Hempstead. Macaulay's efforts and hard work building this program and moving from place to place to find a home for his team showed me something about himself and the program. They will do what it takes to be successful and that they have perseverance which are two of the most important assets required to reach success". Added Demonte


Winner's mentality  


Demonte has already got his eyes set on gold coming into the Lions team with a strong mentality to start the season, previous career statistics show that Flannigan is a key team player and will stop at nothing until the Lions have won the championship expressing his excitement to start his first professional career in the big city with the London Lions.


"Winning is very important to me, and I'm not just talking about in basketball but in life. Winning shows that you were able to get through a tough time and conquer the obstacle that was in your way. Whether it was down by ten and coming back or losing your job and having to find a new one in order to take care of your family. Winning is essential in life. I will equip a winning mentality in the opening games of the season to get the Lions off to a good start by showing them the energy and enthusiasm that I bring. Show them that I am always there for my teammates through the tough times and I am willing to fight through anything".- Flannigan.


Flannigan is currently in the United States eagerly awaiting the announcement of pre-season to get his first pro career job off to a start and hoping to build a relationship with new team mates, the ex- NCAA forward will be an exciting prospect to watch and will be expected to deliver when the season starts. 


Date added: 18/07/2017
BBC

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