Rockets player Stephen Weigh was welcomed by the local crowd on his return to Hegvold Stadium last Friday.
Rockets player Stephen Weigh was welcomed by the local crowd on his return to Hegvold Stadium last Friday. Allan Reinikka

Boomers call for Rocky's star man

STEPHEN Weigh may have only just touched down in Rockhampton, but the Republik Niteclub Rockhampton Rockets star might go missing again, at least for a short time.

Weigh was named in a 16-man Australian Boomers squad, for their upcoming two-game series against China, which will gather in Perth from June 19-23 for a first training camp.

The YouYi Games will see the Boomers (ranked ninth in the world) clash with China (10th) in Perth on June 24, before the series moves to Singapore on June 26.

The series is an initiative of ex-Boomers star Andrew Vlahov and it is hoped the You Yi Games will become an annual competition.

The games will follow the Boomers' first training camp and a squad of 16 has been invited to Perth. This will be cut to 12 for the matches against China with Australia fielding a youthful side of predominately NBL players.

The friendlies will serve as crucial preparation for Australia's FIBA Oceania Olympic qualification series with New Zealand, which is scheduled for September and is a “must win” if Australia is to qualify for the 2012 Olympics.

Rockets coach Neal Tweedy admits it is too early to know what disruption Weigh's selection will mean to his squad.

Tweedy said he is, of course, delighted for the Rockhampton player as it is another important step in his career.

“We only found out on Friday and so we have not had a chance to talk about it,” he said.

“Potentially he will miss two games.”

In theory the trip to Gladstone is one the Rockets should win but the home match with Bundaberg is likely to be tougher.

“We think we have a strong enough squad to come through those two games without Steve,” the coach said.

Weigh had his first game for the Rockets in the 2011 QBL and showed glimpses of his ability and athleticism to make supporters believe he is capable of big things with the team.

However, the short preparation time he, and the returning Mitch Philp, have had with the team was also highlighted.

The Rockets put together a disjointed display during the first half of Friday night's game with Brisbane.

In the meantime Weigh will suit up for the Rockets in their match with Caboolture at Hegvold Stadium this Sunday.



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