Rocket hoping to make impact
HE'S big, he’s powerful and once the easy-going Travis Reed hits the Hegvold Stadium court he is expecting to explode.
Yesterday the Republik Rockets second restricted player for the 2011 playing roster arrived in Rockhampton.
Unfortunately his arrival did not quite go to script with the big man missing his flight here and arriving in Rockhampton about four hours later than scheduled.
“I am just happy to be here,” he beamed.
Reed admitted his biggest worry was whether anybody would be at the airport to meet him but he needn’t have been concerned on that score with coach Neal Tweedy and operations manager there to greet him.
At 31 years of age Reed brings with him a lot of basketball experience, having spent much of his professional career in Europe.
Reed said he had been playing in a certain country and was not getting paid by the club and so returned to his home city of Los Angeles.
“My agent called and asked ‘do you want a job’ and so I thought I would try something different,” he said, “it will be nice to play in a warm-weather country.”
Standing at just over two metres, Reed is a big unit and he also has the bulk to have a huge physical presence when he is on court.
However, he is quick to admit that he has some work to do before he is ready to contribute to the Rockets this year, not having played the last season in Europe.
“I’ve been working out (in LA) but I am not one hundred percent fit,” he admitted.
The big man is not too concerned as he is looking forward to “getting his feet wet” (train) with the rest of the squad and will get better and better.
Even though Reed has played in a number of countries he admits he knows little about basketball in Australia, never mind the Queensland Basketball League.
“From what I hear they (Rockets) are top in the QBL and obviously have a good team,” he said.
Reed admitted being on a good team put less pressure on him than making a move to a team that was struggling and where he would have been expected to be their saviour.
“Each year is different with the pressure on to win,” he added.
As a big forward Reed said the game he brings to the Rockets side is his rebounding skills and his scoring ability.
While not knowing much about the basketball in this area he has played some games with former Rocket Ryan McDade.
This year McDade was unavailable to start a third spell at the club and that left a hole which Reed hopefully will fill.
The newcomer said his association with McDade was during one of the highs of his career.
“We won the championship in Holland,” he said.
Not only did his team win the 2003-2004 Dutch National championship but Reed was named the league’s Most Valuable Player for the season.
“I also made the All Stars team when I was playing in Estonia,” he added.