Derek Rucker

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Derek Rucker
Rucker playing.jpg
Personal information
Born (1966-10-02) October 2, 1966 (age 50)
Washington, D.C.
Nationality American / Australian
Listed height 184 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Listed weight 77 kg (170 lb)
Career information
High school University School
(Hunting Valley, Ohio)
College Davidson (1984–1988)
NBA draft 1988 / Undrafted
Playing career 1990–2006
Position Point guard
Career history
1990–1991 Brisbane Bullets
1992–1993 Birmingham Bullets
1994 Newcastle Falcons
1995–1998 Townsville Suns
1996–1997 Ginebra San Miguel
1998–2003 West Sydney Razorbacks
2003–2006 Brisbane Bullets
Career highlights and awards
  • NBL Most Valuable Player (1990)
  • All-NBL First Team (1990, 1997, 1998)
  • All-NBL Second Team (1995)
  • All-NBL Third Team (1994)
  • NBL single game assist record (24)
  • NBL single season assist record (10.6/game)
  • 3x First-team All-SoCon (1986–1988)

Derek Alan Rucker (born October 2, 1966) is an American-Australian former professional basketball player who starred in the Australian National Basketball League for 15 seasons.

Playing career[edit]

Prior to the commencement of his professional career, Rucker attended and graduated from the exclusive University School in Hunting Valley, Ohio. He accepted a basketball scholarship to attend Davidson College and quickly established himself as a player and leader by starting from his freshman year onwards. Rucker led the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament his sophomore season and finished at Davidson as the 3rd (now 4th) all-time leading scorer and all-time assists (now 5th) and steals leader (currently 1st). In addition to being first team All-Southern Conference three years in a row and the Southern Conference Tournament MVP, Rucker was also a two-time Academic All-American. Davidson College retired Rucker's #11 uniform and inducted Rucker into the Davidson Hall of Fame.[1]

Rucker was one of the most dynamic and exciting players in the history of the NBL and won the league's coveted Most Valuable Player (MVP) award with the Brisbane Bullets in 1990. Rucker began his career with Brisbane and played for the Newcastle Falcons, Townsville Suns and West Sydney Razorbacks before returning to the Bullets to finish his career.

Rucker finished his NBL career in the top ten all-time in several statistical categories: scoring (7th), assists (4th), steals (4th) and three-point field goals made (5th). He also finished in the top five in MVP voting four times in a six-year span. Rucker appeared in two championship series and was a two-time All-Star Game MVP. Rucker also played professionally in England and the Philippines.

Playing style[edit]

Rucker played an aggressive, attacking offensive game using a combination of skilled moves with the ball. Rucker was a match-winning point guard who scored heavily while also amassing high assist totals throughout his career. An excellent athlete with superb quickness and excellent jumping ability, he constantly raided the keyway and rim despite his size of 184 cm (6'0") and 80 kg (176 lbs). Combined with outstanding long range shooting ability, Rucker was a very tough player to defend. It was Rucker's exciting style of play during the boom years of the NBL in Australia that thrust him into celebrity status in the new millennium.


Rucker is the son of former NFL standout Reggie Rucker and Carole Gooch, and has two younger brothers. He and his former partner, Kim Skelton, have two children.[2]

Media work and post career[edit]

Rucker worked for numerous media entities in Australia during and after his playing career including Fox Sports, Channel 9, Radio 2UE Sydney, B105FM Brisbane and Brisbane's Courier Mail. He co-hosted the national NBL weekly recap show in with Stephanie Brantz on Australia's Channel 9 network. After retiring, Rucker became the Sydney Kings' Executive Director of Corporate Basketball Services.[3] He also appeared in the feature film Living Color.

Rucker later ran a high-end sports tour in the United States called D-Ruck's Dream USA Sports Getaway.[4] The first tour was completed in September 2013.

On May 23, 2014, Rucker joined the Gladstone Port City Power of the Queensland Basketball League for a one-game stint. In just over 27 minutes of action, he recorded 5 points, 2 assists and 2 steals in a loss to the Mackay Meteors.[5] In 2015, he was appointed the Gladstone Port City Power chairman and head coach of the men's team.[6] In November 2015, he was appointed head coach of the Logan Thunder for the 2016 QBL season.[7]

NBL career highlights[edit]

  • 51 points in a game
  • 24 assists in a game – NBL Record
  • Averaged 30+ points per game three times
  • 25 games of 40+ points
  • 10.6 assists per game – NBL Record
  • 2x Grand Finalist
  • 3x All-NBL first team
  • 2x All-Star Game MVP


External links[edit]