Rockets retain important trio as Captain Carter returns for a sixth straight season

Reading Rockets have re-signed three players from last season’s squad in the shape of English shooters Ali Sbai and Joel Keeble as well as ever-present club captain Danny Carter.

Carter, 28, had no hesitation in putting pen to paper for his sixth successive season despite a heavier workload after his head of year promotion at the John Madejski Academy this term. The 6’9 forward is the longest serving player that has come through the club’s junior programme and four years in the United States at Stonybrook University, and the Windsor native is more motivated than ever to bring silverware back to his club. The Englishman was arguably one of the Rockets’ most productive players last season and has been working hard during the down months in the gym and on court. In speaking about his return to the Reading team, Carter said,

“ I am really happy to be back and more so I am looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead. As you get older you appreciate a lot more things around you and one of those things is your body! I have been working really hard in the gym and on the court because I know that to be the best player and leader I can be, this is a must if we as a team are to face the upcoming challenges with the ultimate goal of returning silverware to Reading.

Carter will be joined by sharp-shooter Joel Keeble who has been plagued by injury during the last two seasons but the 23 year old will be hoping his third term with the Berkshire outfit is a healthier one. The 6’6 guard sat out the majority of the second part of last season with a fractured wrist but looks set to be fully fit ahead of the 2017-18 campaign. In speaking ahead of his return from his hometown of Ipswich, Keeble said,

I am really looking forward to being back and actually playing and contributing this season. The last two seasons have been frustrating in terms of injury and performance but I am hoping I can repay the faith that’s been shown in me this season and contribute to the team in any way, shape, or form in our quest to bring some silverware back to Reading. I have been working in the off-season to be fit and ready and I can’t wait to get started.

Also returning from last year’s team is 19 year old guard/forward Ali Sbai. The Moroccan-born shooter played a significant part in Manuel Peña Garcés’ team last time out and was also one of the leading players for the John Madejski Academy in the Elite Academies Basketball League (EABL), guiding the team to their first ever play-off position. The 6’5 former academy player has signed his first contract with the Berkshire club and will be hoping to use his experience with the Great Britain Under 20’s squad to contribute again this year. He said,

I am really happy to be given the opportunity to come back and play this season after finishing in the academy and I will be doing everything I can to help the team win some silverware this year. I can’t wait until the season starts as I have missed playing competitively and I am looking forward to linking up with my new teammates.

Rockets will be announcing some exciting new signings in due course.