Tag: #press release

Burnham matches-up with Rockets as second import signing

Reading Rockets have signed their second player ahead of the 2019-2020 season with American Match Burnham the latest to put pen to paper for the Berkshire outfit. Burnham provides some much-needed height in the front court with the 6’8 forward also recently completing his college career in the United States.

After graduating from Liberty High School in Spangle, Washington, the 22-year-old was the only NAIA freshman in the nation to earn honourable-mention All-American distinction after being named Frontier Conference Freshman of the Year. He was third on the team in scoring with 13.0 points per game, averaged 3.6 rebounds, and was second on the team in blocks. Burnham also shot 42.9% from the three on that season.

As a junior in 2017-18, Burnham was arguably one of the best forwards in the nation. He finished the 2017-18 season shooting 45% from the three-point line. After receiving an All-American honourable mention and Frontier Conference second team all-conference his junior season, Burnham was selected in the preseason coaches’ poll to be first team all-conference.

In signing his first professional contract, the 6’8 forward was very buoyant about joining the Rockets and is looking forward to getting started in England. Burnham said,

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue playing basketball at a high level and I’m excited to join a community and family atmosphere the Reading Rockets provide. I’m really looking forward to getting started and linking up with my new teammates in a few weeks’ time.”

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was pleased to get both his import spots filled early on and is looking forward to working with Burnham from next week. The GB Under 18 Head Coach said,

“We are really pleased to have Match and indeed Nick joining us this year in Reading. Both players are fresh out of college and look hungry to impress so I have no doubt they will be a great fit for us. Match looks an exciting prospect, a big body that can play in the paint but can also step out and shoot the three really well so for me this was an easy signing to make. I’m really looking forward to seeing Match and Nick in action when pre-season begins next week.”

Check back tomorrow at midday for another player announcement!

Richards first signing for new look Rockets

Reading Rockets have completed their first signing ahead of the 2019-2020 season with American guard Nicholas Richards putting pen to paper for the Berkshire outfit.

The 6’4 24-year-old joins the Reading team having completed four years in college in the United States. Richards attended Kirkwood Community College in his freshman and sophomore years winning a national title before moving to Wilmington University for his junior and senior years.

He averaged 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists as well as being named in the all-conference first team and was also voted the Most Valuable Player of his university.

Richards comes to the Rockets on a one-year deal, signing his first professional contract and is excited to join up with his teammates for pre-season which begins next week. The American guard said,

“I’m excited to get to Reading and play under Coach Alan along with the rest of the coaching staff. This should be an interesting season as we hope to accomplish the main goal, winning a championship. I can’t wait to come in and compete with the rest of the team and even more excited to join the Rockets, meet our fans and overall see what Reading has to offer! Get ready for a great and exciting season!”

Rockets Chairman Gary Johnson was really pleased to capture the signing of Richards and is looking forward to seeing his new American in action. He said,

“Nick comes to us highly recommended with a very positive CV, so we are really looking forward to seeing him play during this campaign in what is a really new-look squad. He looks to have a great pedigree and will really help us at both ends of the floor as well as off the court too which is so important for us. I know Alan (Keane, Rockets Head Coach) is very much looking forward to working with him and we are excited with the squad we are putting together.”

Check back tomorrow at midday for our second player announcement!

 

Match Report – NBL & WNBL Quarter Finals

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Loughborough Student Riders83Win
Reading Rockets63Loss

Loughborough Riders 83 v 63 Reading Rockets.

In the Playoff Championship quarter final, despite a good and encouraging first half, Rockets couldn’t contain Riders as they stormed the third period 22-10 thanks in principle to outstanding treble shooting. Riders hit five in this quarter and defended stoutly to take a double digit lead into the final stanza, which they edged  to take their place in the semi-final stage next weekend.

In the 2 league games Rockets had the head to head as each team won their home game but at the semi-final stage of the National Trophy in January, Riders lifted their game to win and go on and take the Cup.  Rockets were quick out of the blocks at the University but A J Carr was a little too enthusiastic as he was called for a pair of fouls inside the opening two minutes of early exchanges, meaning Head Coach Alan Keane had to bring him off court .  Captain Danny Carter ( in what was to be his last ever appearance in a Rockets vest ) worked tirelessly inside, took down rebounds and made key assists whilst Sydney Donaldson again proved the heart of the team seeing  Rockets to a 19-14 advantage at the first break.

The  second quarter was a much lower scoring affair as both defences stayed on top though Riders took the lead for just 50 seconds before the interval before Carter saw Rockets go the locker room 31-30 ahead. The third period was a tough one for Rockets as Riders hit five from beyond the arc compared to just one in the whole of the first 2 periods as they took the quarter 22-10. Carter, Donaldson and Trae Pemberton were the only Rockets scorers as Riders stepped up their already good defence. Despite a David Chive rejection with less than two minutes remaining of the third quarter, Riders stroked a brace of trebles, the last one on the buzzer and giving Riders a big boost and an eleven point lead at 52–41.

A Pemberton effort came back out of the ring at the start of the final quarter before Carr hit his only treble of the afternoon to reduce the deficit.  When Carter went inside to score, Rockets found themselves just seven points down inside two minutes. A very tough call with just one second left on the shot clock proved disappointing and costly for Rockets as Riders were secure from the free throw line and hit a pair of trebles to take a fifteen point lead at 64-49 mid way through the quarter. Carter shone throughout the game but especially in the final period as he worked ferociously to take Rockets to the semi-final stage as he poured in ten personal points, drove hard drawing fouls but Rockets just couldn’t find a way of stopping the rampaging Riders. Adrian O’Sullivan hit two trebles to reduce the deficit to just ten points at 63-73 with two minutes remaining but with Rockets needing to stop the clock to regain possession, Riders were frequent visitors to the penalty stripe from which they only missed one whilst Rockets’ treble efforts were unsuccessful as Riders took the quarter final 83-63 with a 10-0 run.

Top scorers for Rockets were Danny Carter with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists with Sydney Donaldson hitting 14 points and taking down 7 rebounds. Adrian O’Sullivan and A J Carr hit 8 points each with Trae Pemberton and Arinze Emeka-Anyakwo scoring 7 each.

Details

Date Time League Season
06/04/2019 14:00 NBL Division 1 2018 / 2019
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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Loughborough Student Riders63Win
READING ROCKETS58Loss

In a most unusual Play-off Championship draw both Rockets Men and Ladies found themselves playing Loughborough away on the same day so they travelled together bringing encouragement to each other with Ladies taking the moral win though Riders went to the semi-final stage with a narrow margin of just five points. From a 3-14 deficit Rockets got within five points midway through the final quarter and into the last 1 minute 17 secs but a very contentious refereeing call saw Rockets top scorer being called for an unsportsmanlike foul and having to leave the court. Despite this impact Rockets Ladies tried fervently to take the victory but just one of three treble efforts hit the target and Riders hit three from the free throw line to move into the semi-final stage. Four of Rockets Ladies had scored double figures compared to just the pair from the Riders  professional WBBL team as Rockets fought tirelessly giving a great performance.Riders had made three blocks inside the opening three minutes as Rockets just couldn’t break through the tough defence , finding themselves on the receiving end of a 12-2 Riders run. Rockets captain Maike Delow Fasbender stopped the rot and Noa Sanchez Marques made a pair of steals and finishes before Monica Herranz De Antonio  was secure from the penalty stipe as Rockets returned the 12-2 compliment and the scores levelled on 14 apiece. Five unanswered Riders points saw them enjoy a narrow 19-14 advantage at the end of the period.

Andrea Gomez De La Vara stroked the first of her three trebles and Herranz hit one too to stay close to Riders at 20-26. Sanchez Marques caused Riders into a five second inbound violation as Rockets ramped up the pressure but nothing seemed to be going Rockets way as they found themselves 26-37 down at the interval. Head Coach David Sanchez was expecting a fresh upturn in pressure from Riders and quickly Rockets found themselves 42-28 and then 48-32 in arrears as Riders struck a brace of trebles, one on the buzzer. Nonetheless this Rockets Ladies team wears the badge with pride and great team work and ethics shone through as they recovered to 43-48 moments before the last break though Riders went into the last period 50-43 ahead.

Rockets scored off their first possession to close the gap and then made a pair of stops but Riders stroked a treble. Sanchez Marques scored and Herranz De Antonio made a big rejection as the travelling Rockets fans bellowed their encouragement. Another Gomez De La Vara treble saw Rockets just two scores behind at 53-59 with two minutes remaining and Rockets in the ascendancy and causing this smart Riders team many problems they hadn’t envisaged after their early dominance. Then the decision that fuelled up Rockets through losing their stalwart player as Rockets did their upmost to take the win though losing out narrowly 58-63.

Top scorers for Rockets were Monica Herranz with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals accompanied by Andrea Gomez with 13 points, Noa Sanchez with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals and Anabel Latorre Ciria with a double double of 10 points and 15 rebounds.

Details

Date Time League Season
06/04/2019 16:30 WNBL Division One 2018 / 2019

Match Report – Reading Rockets v Manchester Magic

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets95Win
Manchester Magic85Loss

On captain Danny Carter’s final home game at Rivermead on Sunday afternoon, before retiring after some 18 years’ service to Rockets, he shone brightly as he scored 21 points and made 8 assists. Though Mother’s Day, an appreciative crowd turned up to say a hearfelt thank you to the lionheart of the team for this long period of service .

Carter was in majestic form as he poured in 12 pts., in the opening quarter with A J Carr adding 11 pts. as Rockets took control of the game at 30-16. They added a further 29 pts., in the second period to enjoy a 59-39 lead at the interval with Carter having 19 personal points. 17 yo Academy player Sam Grant hit 7 personal points during this time as Trae Pemberton found his treble range and Sydney Donaldson provided the drive energy.  Tanner Kuehn made a block and scored to see Rockets 23 points up midway through the period though a buzzer beating treble from Magic reduced the deficit to 20pts at 59-39.

The third quarter was highlighted by a huge treble from Adrian O’Sullivan from inside his own half but there was a back court violation so it didn’t count but was a magnificent shot. Rockets were dominant in the paint and scored 19 pts., from turnovers as well as 19 pts., from fast breaks, much to the delight of Rockets supporters.

Magic had opened the scoring but that was the only time they led throughout the contest as Head Coach Alan Keane saw six of his players reach double digit scores. The low scoring third period saw Magic take it 21-14 as Jonathan Barnes continued his impressive contribution for Magic though Rockets still enjoyed a 73-60 advantage going into the final stanza.

This was highlighted by Rockets last signing before the January deadline,  Kuehn stroking three trebles in the last quarter. O’Sullivan wanted to join the party too with Rockets fourth three of the period as they saw out the game 95-85. Coach Keane was pleased to see thirty points from his bench as well as 24 assists and ten steals of which Rockets two big men were the most prominent. Donaldson retrieved a Rockets turn-over with a great interception as Magic fought tirelessly to get close to the hosts but Rockets experience and determination to make this a real day to remember for their retiring captain, saw them take the victory.

Rockets now look forward to the Play-off Championship which starts next weekend with them travelling to Loughborough for the quarter final stage.

Top scorers for Rockets were Danny Carter with 21 pts., 4 rebounds and 8 assists; A J Carr with 19 pts and 9 rebounds; Sydney Donaldson with 13 pts.,6 rebounds and 6 assists together with Tanner Kuehn also scoring  13 pts and 6 rebounds. Adrian O’Sullivan and Trae Pemberton had double digit scores with Pemberton taking down 5 rebounds and having 3 assists.

Details

Date Time League Season
31/03/2019 17:00 NBL Division 1 2018 / 2019

Venue

Rivermead
24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK

Rockets look for fifth place in final game

Reading Rockets (13-12) will be looking to finish in fifth position in the NBL Division One table this weekend but to do that they must beat already-relegated Manchester Magic (2-23) on Sunday afternoon, 5pm tip-off at Rivermead Leisure Complex and hope Derby Trailblazers (14-11) lose to Hemel Storm the night before. If the two teams finish with the same record then the Rockets will take the higher seeded position thanks to beating the Trailblazers by more than they lost to them in league play. The Reading outfit lost the opening encounter 84-94 but secured an 87-74 away win meaning they would have the head to head should any tie occur.

A fourth straight loss for the Berkshire outfit could see them finish as low as eighth position should Essex Leopards (12-13) and Leicester Warriors (12-13) secure final day victories with both teams having the head to head over the Rockets. The Leopards have beaten the Rockets in both league match-ups this season, whilst the Warriors have the points advantage as they cancelled out their 96-82 defeat with a resounding 89-63 last month at Rivermead. The Warriors will host third placed Loughborough Riders whilst the Leopards will welcome champions elect Solent Kestrels (21-4) to Brentwood.

After seeing his side slip to their second and third defeats in a row with losses to Loughborough Riders (81-84) and Team Newcastle (77-80) last weekend, Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane knows Sunday’s game is crucial to secure the best league position possible and take a win into the post season. The Reading play-caller said,

“Last weekend’s two defeats were big blows for us but there is no time to dwell on it, we must learn and be better and move on to this weekend’s challenge. We performed well on Saturday against Loughborough which is a big positive but it was disappointing to lose the game but then to follow it up with a poor performance and poor result was tough to take. However, the one thing this group does is come back into practice, work hard to improve, hold each other accountable, and keep working to be the best versions of themselves and that is exactly what we will do this week in preparation.”

“This team can beat anyone on it’s day and now we need to find that ingredient to do so as we head into the last couple of games; I really believe in the guys and I think if we can mould a few things this week, we can be a force to be reckoned with in the post season.”

Rockets will go into their final home game of the 2018-2019 campaign with no new injury concerns and a fully fit roster to select from. Captain Danny Carter will play his last ever league game in front of his home crowd with the 30 year old forward retiring at the end of the season. The Berkshire outfit will play their play-off quarter-final game away from home the following weekend and will know their fate at the end of Sunday’s match-up against Manchester Magic which is also expected to be a sell-out.