By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Missing the cut for the Basketball Champions League Star Lineups Saturday presented an opportunity for Justin Simon to get things done with some extra motivation one day later. Putting up 27 points led MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg to the convincing win versus Hapoel U-NET Holon and third place in the season-ending Final Four.
“I am a competitor. I am a dog. I try to make winning plays. A little of extra motivation, I kind of felt disrespected in a way yesterday,” he referred to being snubbed from both the first and second teams of the 2021-22 season, “I personally feel like I am one of the top ten players in this competition. Not to take anything away from anybody. I kind of had that extra edge tonight. I wanted to make sure my presence and my impact would never be neglected or just forgotten about or undervalued ever again.”
The 27 points were a personal best at a professional level. After playing college basketball at Arizona and St. John’s, Simon drew professional experience in the G League and NBL, before moving his talents to Germany. The BCL and Ludwigsburg provided the first chance to emerge in a European club competition.
“As the coach said, I am very fortunate to play in this European competition against some great players all over Europe,” he nodded to the long-time head coach of the German outlet John Patrick, “This is my first time in Europe and I am having fun.”
Simon, 26, averaged 15.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.9 steals, and 0.8 blocks per Champions League contest.
Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League