||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (April 2012)|
|League||British Basketball League|
|Team colours||Navy Blue, Sky Blue, White
|Main sponsor||Shell Twilight Basketball|
|Head coach||Sterling Davis|
The Glasgow Rocks is a basketball team which competes in the British Basketball League (BBL). Formerly known as Scottish Rocks and Edinburgh Rocks, they are the only BBL team to be based in Scotland, playing at the Commonwealth Arena in Glasgow. American veteran Sterling Davis is the current player-coach of the senior team. Their traditional rivals are Newcastle Eagles.
- 1 Franchise history
- 2 Home arenas
- 3 Season-by-season records
- 4 Trophies
- 5 Players
- 6 Scottish Rockettes
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Established as the Edinburgh Rocks in 1998 by a consortium of businessmen, the team debuted at Meadowbank Arena under the helm of American coach Jim Brandon. Rocks were not the first Scottish team to compete in the British Basketball League (BBL), with both Murray Livingston and Glasgow Rangers making successful but short-lived appearances in the top-flight during the late 1980s. The franchise was admitted directly into the top-tier league to fill the slot opened up following the merging of Crystal Palace and London Towers. Despite being led by veteran coach Brandon, the team encountered a tough rookie season, finishing 9th in the 13 team league with a 12-24 record. Though finishing only one place off the Play-offs, Rocks were well adrift of 8th-placed Greater London Leopards, with a gap of 7 wins (14 points) between the two teams.
During the clubs’ second season, the Rocks effectively went bankrupt before being purchased by one of its existing directors, Ian Reid. Off-court problems did not detract much from the team's performance in the league, and the Rocks, bettered their inaugural season with a 19-17 record, finishing 3rd in the Northern Conference and qualifying for the postseason play-offs. They faced previous year's finalists Thames Valley Tigers in the Quarter-final, and despite a late rally, Rocks edged out their opponents to a 68-64 win, with American guard Ted Berry posting a team-high 16 points. Advancing on to the Semi-finals, the Scots came up against League champions and favourites Manchester Giants and despite trailing 52-28 at half-time, several incredible scoring runs from Rocks brought them to within 2 points of the Giants, with 2 minutes left. However, experience prevailed and the Giants held out for an 84-82 victory and advanced to the finals which they eventually won.
Edinburgh's third campaign saw coach Brandon move on and American coach Greg Lockridge take charge but he was fired after less than two months following a series of bust-ups with players and poor results. Scotland player Iain MacLean stepped up as player-coach but saw the side finish bottom of the Northern Conference, with a dismal 5-31 record and 1st round exits in the National Cup and the Trophy.
In 2001-2002, another American, Kevin Wall, was placed in charge and brought a mild turn in fortunes, finishing 4th (13-19). But it was another switch, in the summer of 2002, which proved more significant. Attracted by the opening of the brand-new 4,000-seat Braehead Arena in Glasgow, Rocks uprooted from their aging Meadowbank venue in Edinburgh and moved 45 miles west to Scotland's largest city, and rebranded as the Scottish Rocks. The move received a mixed response from fans, whilst many said that the move wouldn't work, the official supporters club backed the franchise's decision.
While few fans followed the club west, the first season in Glasgow provided the franchise with a sponsorship deal with Mitsubishi and its most successful season to date, as coach Wall led the Rocks to their first ever trophy, the BBL Play-off Championship. Finishing 6th in the regular season standings, with a 22-18 record, the Rocks were outside shots at best to claim the Playoff title, but nail-biting victories against Chester Jets in the Quarter-final (94-98) and Sheffield Sharks in the Semi-final (74-76) propelled the Scots into a Final showdown with Brighton Bears at the National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Birmingham. The match was closely fought throughout, but Rocks’ Trinidadian star Shawn Myers put in an MVP performance with 26 points and hoisted the new-look club into the history books with a 76-83 victory.
Returning to the USA, Wall's exit saw the arrival of former Brighton assistant Steve Swanson as the new head coach and on the back of the Play-off win, ushered in a new era for the franchise. With a 23-14 record, the Rocks finished the 2003-2004 season in 4th place, the franchise's highest place finish in its short history, whilst also reaching the Semi-final of the Trophy and appearing as finalists in the inaugural BBL Cup, losing to Sheffield 70-83 in front of 6,000 people at Birmingham's NIA. The following season wasn’t quite as successful during the regular season, but the team did manage to reach the Cup final again, losing out this time to coach Swanson's former team Brighton in a 90-74 defeat.
Sponsorship deals with local Honda dealer Phoenix and national newspaper the Daily Record saw the team named as the Scottish Phoenix Honda Record Rocks for the 2005-2006 season and also saw the franchise reach its best ever league placing of second (29-11) and a further second place in the play-off final. Eliminating both Chester and Sheffield convincingly in the Quarter-final and Semi-final respectively, Rocks came up against their traditional arch-rivals Newcastle in the final in Birmingham, and though finishing only 1 victory (2 points) behind the Eagles in the regular season, Rocks were brushed aside in the 83-68 loss. Following the loss, coach Swanson announced his departure, returning to US college basketball, and after three seasons at the club and a 0.614 winning average he left as the coach with the most wins record to date in Rocks' history.
The 2006-2007 season saw the arrival of the British league's first ever German playcaller, Thorsten Leibenath. The German continued Rocks' winning ways, and took the team to another Cup final, losing out once more to Guildford 82-79, whilst a 4th place finish and another appearance in the Final of the Play-off saw the seemingly annual rivalry with Eagles revived, Newcastle again triumphin in a 95-82 victory. On April 30, 2007, the Rocks announced Leibenath was leaving the club to take over head coaching duties at his previous club Giessen 46ers in Germany. Player, and BBL veteran Sterling Davis was named as his successor, assuming a player-coach role within the team. Davis' team performed amicably throughout the 2007-2008 season, but a 1st Round exit in the Trophy and a 5th place finish in the league and a Quarter-final exit in the post-season Play-offs to eventual Runners-up Milton Keynes Lions, 105-93, meant the Rocks had failed to appear in a major Final for the first time in 6 years.
With the costs of Braehead Arena mounting, Rocks were finding difficulty in coming to an agreement with the venue owners over a new deal, forcing them to consider other options. Ultimately, the Rocks agreed a deal with the 1,200-capacity Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena, and although many fans considered it a downgrade, the clubs bosses were satisfied the move was helping the Rocks move forward. The move was announced on July 16, 2008, and would commence immediately, with a future plan to move into the new 5,000-capacity National Indoor Sports Arena in 2011.
The Rocks' first season at their new home would turn out to be a very turbulent one indeed. After an excellent start in the league campaign, they found themselves top of the table in January, however, a series of key injuries and a reported lack of harmony in the roster jeopardised their season. In the end, with an 18-15 record, the Rocks just managed to scrape a 7th place finish and spot in the Play-offs, but again fell at the first hurdle, losing 84-64 to a dominating Everton Tigers side.
During the summer 2008 the franchise also announced a new long-term agreement with Glasgow City Council. As part of the agreement the Scottish Rocks would be renamed as the Glasgow Rocks from the start of the 2009-2010 season.
A reorganisation of the Play-Offs, for the top eight teams in the BBL, saw the Rocks on 2 May 2010 win the chance, after a 3 year drought, to play in the BBL Finals. The reorganisation involved the usual head-to-head for the Quarter Finals with the Semi-Finals being decided over two legs, one Home and one Away, most points wins. Finals Weekend was reduced to one day as Semi-Final was played at teams own venues.
The start of the 2010-11 season brought more changes with the BBL Trophy group stage being played before the start of the BBL Championship League. Returning from the team that took them into the BBL Play-off Final were Mike Copeland, Sterling Davis and Scott Russell. With the departure of Michael Crowell, Gareth Murray, Mike MacGregor, Steve Parillon, Jessie Sapp, and Rob Yanders, there was a lot of rebuilding to do. This left little time for the much changed team to prepare properly before playing in competition. However this paved the way for star American point guard Brice Fantazia fresh out of culver stockton French star Moses Mubarak,league veteran Ej Harrison and power forward Nick Livas. To add to this Michael Kingma from the Australian pro league and Scottish rookies Jack Burgess and Rory Petrie. The team where knocked out in the first round of the playoffs after a tough loss to the Sharks after a great win over them away. jack Burgess and rory petrie never resigned the next season but Jack Burgess Coaches the under 14 Scotland squad of 2012/2013 mubarak went back to France and michael kingma went onto to play in the euroleague.
2010-11 also saw a further change to the Play-off format with the introduction of a two leg Quarter Final. For the Rocks this meant one Away game, and an additional Home game.
Continuing delays on construction of the new National Indoor Sports Arena meant the postponement of the scheduled move and the Rocks remaining for at least one more season (2011–12) at Kelvin Hall.
The Rocks moved into their new home at The Emirates Arena in 2012. Games are played in the main arena when available and also in the smaller Sports Hall. Season 2012/13 was a moderately successful season with the team finishing 3rd in the league but losing out in the 1st round of the playoffs to Plymouth. The Rocks lost several notable players at the end of the season, including Bryce Fantazia, Donald Robinson and Andrew Wedemire.
Season 2013/14 was a disappointing one for The Rocks. Chez Marks was among several high profile signings made before the season started along with Daniel Northern and Fran Urli. Marks left midway through the season to be replaced by Alex Marcotullio. Antonio Di Maria also left before the season ended to be replaced by Chris Johnston. The highlight of the season was reaching the BBL Trophy final where The Rocks lost to Worcester Wolves. Rocks finished 10th in the league, above only Birmingham and Surrey. At the end of the season it was announced that EJ Harrison was to retire.
- Meadowbank Arena (1998-2002)
- Braehead Arena (2002-2008)
- Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena (2008-2012)
- Commonwealth Arena (2012-present)
|1998–99||BBL||9th||36||12||24||24||DNQ||1st Round (BT)||1st Round (NC)|
|1999–00||BBL N||3rd||36||19||37||38||Semi-final||1st Round (BT)||Semi-final (NC)|
|2000–01||BBL N||7th||36||5||31||10||DNQ||1st Round (BT)||1st Round (NC)|
|2001–02||BBL N||4th||32||13||19||26||1st Round||1st Round (BT)||Quarter-final (NC)|
|2002–03||BBL||6th||40||22||18||44||Winners||1st Round (BT)||1st Round (NC)|
|2003–04||BBL||4th||36||23||13||46||Quarter-final||Semi-final (BT)||Runner-up (BC)|
|2004–05||BBL||6th||40||19||21||38||Semi-final||1st Round (BT)||Runner-up (BC)|
|2005–06||BBL||2nd||40||29||11||58||Runner-up||Semi-final (BT)||Semi-final (BC)|
|2006–07||BBL||4th||36||22||14||44||Runner-up||1st Round (BT)||Runner-up (BC)|
|2007–08||BBL||5th||33||18||15||36||Quarter-final||1st Round(BT)||Semi-final (BC)|
|2008–09||BBL||7th||33||16||17||32||Quarter-final||1st Round (BT)||1st Round (BC)|
|2009–10||BBL||3rd||36||23||13||46||Runner-up||Quarter-final (BT)||1st Round (BC)|
|2010–11||BBL||6th||33||18||15||36||Quarter-final||1st Round (BT)||Quarter-final (BC)|
|2011–12||BBL||5th||30||16||14||32||Semi-final||1st Round (BT)||Quarter-final (BC)|
|2012–13||BBL||3rd||33||21||12||42||Quarter-final||Quarter-final (BT)||Quarter-final (BC)|
|2013–14||BBL||10th||33||13||20||26||DNQ||Runner-Up (BT)||Quarter-final (BC)|
- From 1999-2002 the BBL operated a Conference system. Rocks competed in the Northern Conference.
- DNQ denotes Did Not Qualify.
- NYP denotes Not Yet Played.
- BBL Championship Runners Up: 2005–06 (1)
- BBL Championship Play Off Winners: 2002–03 (1)
- BBL Championship Play Off Runners Up: 2005–06, 2006–07 & 2009–10 (3)
- National Cup Runners Up: 2003–04 (1)
- BBL Cup Runners Up: 2004–05 & 2006–07 (2)
- BBL Trophy Runners Up: 2013–14 (1)
Glasgow Rocks roster
Notable former players
- Kieron Achara
- Niki Arinze
- Ted Berry
- Mike Copeland
- Ajou Deng
- Julius Joseph
- Nick Livas
- John McCord
- Iain MacLean
- Mike Martin
- Jessie Sapp
- Billy Singleton
- Charles Smith
- Jerry Williams
- Tony Windless
- Robert Yanders
- Graham Hunter
The Scottish Rockettes are official dance team of the Glasgow Rocks. Amongst other events they also perform at BBL competition finals and home games for Glasgow Rugby.
The dance team is made up of twenty-one women who are all over 18 years of age from backgrounds as diverse as IT, nursing, finance, dance and sales. Each year the dance team train in the USA alongside the NBA and NFL dancers, learning material from the world's best choreographers.
- Mark Woods (2002-07-04). "Rocks leave Edinburgh behind". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
- Gordon Scott (2002-06-19). "Rocks fan club would back team in Glasgow". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 2009-11-28.[dead link]
- Mark Woods (2003). "Scots Rockin’ all over the Bears". BritBall. Retrieved 2009-11-28.[dead link]
- Mark Woods (2004). "Sheffield claim the Cup". BritBall. Retrieved 2009-11-30.[dead link]
- "Bio: Steve Swanson". ISU Athletics. 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
- Paul Behan (2009). "Scottish Rocks quit Braehead". Paisley Daily Express. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
- Matthew Leslie (2009). "Scottish Rocks transform into Glasgow Rocks ahead of new season". The Glaswegian. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
- Matthew Leslie (2009). "Swine flu KO's Glasgow Rocks Pro Basketball Team". The Glaswegian. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
- Gavin Glicksman (2007-05-10). "Make it a date to remember". The Sun (London). Retrieved 2009-11-30.
- Official Glasgow Rocks website
- Glasgow Rocks on Facebook
- Glasgow Rocks on Twitter
- Glasgow Rocks news from The Glaswegian
- Official Scottish Rockettes website, dance team of the Glasgow Rocks
- The Cutlery Drawer, an unofficial Glasgow Rocks fan club