Rockets big man Ryan McDade.
Rockets big man Ryan McDade. File

Basketballer heads back to Rocky

THE last time Ryan McDade donned a Rockhampton Stadium Nightclub Rockets singlet, he inspired the team to state and national championship success.

Rockhampton Basketball yesterday announced its first major signing for next year’s QBL, with American big man McDade returning to Hegvold Stadium in 2010.

And the lion-hearted 205cm forward/centre, who was crowned grand final MVP in the Rockets’ groundbreaking 2008 national championship win, has vowed to roar once again next season.

“I am really looking forward to coming back to Rockhampton – I obviously have great memories from my last season there,” McDade said from Finland where he is currently playing. “In fact, I very nearly came back for the 2009 season and I certainly wasn’t about to let another opportunity to come back pass me by.

“The home crowd, the sponsors and corporate partners and the Rockhampton community in general are so supportive of the Rockets and I am really looking forward to getting back there for the next season.”

McDade is the first piece of the Rockets coach Neal Tweedy’s recruitment puzzle as he plots a revenge mission after this year’s grand final loss to arch-rivals Cairns.

“We are extremely pleased to have secured the services of Ryan, who won a state and national championship with us in 2008,” Tweedy said.

“He is a team-orientated player and his ability and work ethic definitely are attributes that we are keen to utilise again in our structure next season.

“He was the perfect fit for our group in 2008 and we sorely missed his work ethic at training and in games this year – he is the ultimate competitor and we are confident that he will be dominant in the league in 2010.

“Apart from what he brings to the training court and each and every game, Ryan is an outstanding individual.”

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