SHARP SHOOTER: Towering basketballer David Wagner will join the McDonald's Rockhampton Rockets after a five-year stint in the Canadian college system.
SHARP SHOOTER: Towering basketballer David Wagner will join the McDonald's Rockhampton Rockets after a five-year stint in the Canadian college system. Allan Reinikka ROK280217arockets

Wagner's ready to stand tall for Rockets

BASKETBALL: Size, strength and scoring. That's what new recruit David Wagner wants to bring to the McDonald's Rockhampton Rockets in season 2017.

And standing at just over 2m tall and having averaged 12 points and five rebounds in his most recent season with the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, he looks more than qualified to deliver.

Wagner has spent the past five seasons with the UBC Thunderbirds and in his final season helped them progress to the Canadian National Tournament, where they finished fifth.

Speaking to media today, Wagner said it was good to be back in Australia and to now be part of the Rockets program, which had enjoyed so much success.

The 24-year-old, who will play as centre or power forward, is keen to assume a leadership role in what is a young Rockets team.

"It's always tough to lose some of your veteran guys in a basketball team but that just gives younger guys the opportunity to step up and be those guys in the future,” he said.

"My fourth and fifth year I really had to take on that senior leadership role on my university team so hopefully I can transfer that back onto this team when the season starts.

"I'm just hoping to be a great fit for this basketball team. I hope all the pieces come together and hopefully I can be one of those great pieces.”

Rockets coach Neal Tweedy said Wagner would bring some much-needed size to the team, as well as a winning mentality.

"We feel he can score, he's a solid rebounder and he works hard and plays great defence so he's got all the traits that we're looking for to play that position this year,” he said.

"Even though he's relatively young himself, he is going to bring some extra leadership to our young team.

"That comes with being a part of a successful program, but it's also a reflection of Dave's temperament. He's pretty level-headed. He just focuses on going about his business without any fuss.”

The McDonald's Rockhampton Rockets start their QBL season on April 28 against the Mackay Meteors at Hegvold Stadium.



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