The end of this season marks my own 10 year anniversary of watching the Rocks. I had a look back and found a special playoff “Slate” and thought it would be a laugh to see how much (or maybe how little) the Rocks have changed over the past 10 years.
- The competition: Guildford Heat (now Surrey Scorchers) won the league, this was the season before the European adventure that effectively bankrupted the club. That season Guildford also narrowly beat the Rocks in the Cup Final in Birmingham (where have I heard that one before?!) In the league Sheffield were 2nd and Newcastle 3rd (shows how long ago this was!). Plymouth were a respectable top half team, Leicester were 7th (back in the good old days when Leicester were rubbish) and Worcester, in their first season in the league finished stone cold last.
The venue: the Rocks called the Braehead Arena home, a vast and slightly odd basketball venue, with the court way out in the middle and the seats high above looking down. Popular memories from Braehead include: every electronic scoreboard braking before or during the Eagles game (before the Rocks office team resorted to updating the score on a whiteboard. Much more difficult than it sounds when the score is changing every 15 seconds, much to the crowd’s amusement) and the Rocks selling out the 2,500 tickets for the MK Lions game on Setanta Sports (remember them?!). I wasn’t actually at that game. I had to go to Cubs. I’m not bitter about it though 🙂
- The team: Club legend Rob Yanders led the team at point guard, pairing up with Maurice “Squeaky” Hampton in the backcourt. The starting 5 was made up with forwards Julius Joseph (ex Lions and Heat), big German man mountain Moritz Wohlers and none other than our good friend, Sterling
Davis. Providing firepower off the bench were Hugo Sterk (who released an absolutely banging record about the Rocks during his time here, click here if you don’t believe me!), Chris Anrin, and a strong British contingent of Graham Hunter, Andy Pearson and a much younger, much less beardy Gareth Murray. The team was coached by Thorsten Leibenath, who now coaches the best team in Germany, Ratiopharm Ulm, and Ross Hutton, who has been around Scottish basketball a lot more since 2007.
- The kit: was made by Kukri, and it was brilliant. A classic Rocks look, good quality. Unfortunately my shooting shirt does not fit anymore, I suppose I was nine years old when I got it!
There were two things that I noticed that never changed in the past 10 years – the fantastic community of Rocks fans which has only grown and supported the team fantastically through thick or thin, and the involved and enthusiastic ownership by Ian and Celeste Reid. Without both these factors, who knows where we would all be right now. So thank you to everyone, and here’s to the next 10 years of success and happiness for the Rocks.