Rockets fill player quota

IT WAS a very happy Neal Tweedy who announced yesterday he has been able to secure his second restricted player for the 2011 Queensland Basketball League season.

The names are coming forward with regularity as Travis Reed joins Steven Weigh as the Republik Rockets two restricted players.

Even better for Tweedy his new player arrives in Rockhampton almost immediately, flying in on Friday which is a bonus for the team’s preparation as Reed will need those four weeks to get his fitness up as he has not come off a European season.

Reed is not exactly an unknown quantity to the Rockets coach.

“I actually saw his name a couple of years ago,” he said.

At the time Tweedy was following the progress of another player who was set to join the Rockets from Estonia, where both he and Reed were playing.

“He (Reed) also played a couple of games with Ryan McDade in Holland,” the coach added.

So consequently when the Rockets went on the lookout for replacements for McDade and Reggie Golson it was an opportunity to chase Reed up.

“It has all happened very quickly,” Tweedy said.

Gaining a player of Reed’s experience is a massive boost to the Rockets chances of retaining their QBL Title as the player ticks all the boxes in Tweedy’s requirements file. Firstly he has height, standing at two metres (6’7”).

“He is a big guy with a big body that takes up a lot of room on the plate,” Tweedy said.

Secondly he was looking for an inside player to team up with Weigh and Reed fills that category well.

Then there is the bonus of Reed being a left handed player which sometimes confuses his marker.

Reed has a lot of basketball experience as he is over 30 years of age but that is not a problem for Tweedy and the Rockets.

“We are getting him at the back end of his career but at 31 years of age, that is not old in basketball,” he said.

The coach said age will not be a factor to the number of minutes Reed spends on court saying it is a different game to what the player was used to when he was on the European circuit.

“The game is a bit more up-and-down here,” he said.

Rockhampton Basketball operations manager Jamie Boon is also happy the Rockets restricted player quota is now full.

“Travis Reed is a player that has always been on the radar for the Rockets – Neal Tweedy identified him as a candidate a couple of seasons ago, however, the availability and the timing of our season never quite matched up,” he said.

“When a door closes another opens and this season we have the opportunity to secure a player who we think can assist as we push for back-to-back titles.”

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