Glasgow Rocks

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Radisson Red Glasgow Rocks
Radisson Red Glasgow Rocks logo
LeagueBritish Basketball League
Established1998; 21 years ago (1998)
HistoryEdinburgh Rocks
(1998–2002)
Scottish Rocks
(2002–2009)
Glasgow Rocks
(2009–present)
ArenaEmirates Arena
Capacity6,500
LocationGlasgow, Scotland
Main sponsorRadisson Red
Head coachFrance Vincent Lavandier
WebsiteOfficial website

The Glasgow Rocks, currently known as the Radisson Red Glasgow Rocks for sponsorship reasons, are a Scottish professional basketball team based in Glasgow, Scotland.

Formerly known as the Edinburgh Rocks, and then the Scottish Rocks, the Rocks compete in the British Basketball League. Since 2012, the Rocks have played their home games at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.The Rocks’ traditional rivals are the Newcastle Eagles.

Franchise history[edit]

Edinburgh Rocks[edit]

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 club's 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.

Scottish Rocks[edit]

In 2001–02, 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 ageing Meadowbank venue in Edinburgh and moved 45-miles west to Scotland's largest city, and rebranded as the Scottish Rocks.[1] 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.[2]

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.[3]

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 2003–04 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.[4] 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 2005–06 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 one victory (two 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.[5]

The 2006–07 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 30 April 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 2007–08 season, but a first 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 six 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 16 July 2008, and would commence immediately, with a future plan to move into the new 6,500-capacity National Indoor Sports Arena in 2011.[6]

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 2009–10 season.[7]

Glasgow Rocks[edit]

In November 2009, it was announced that four Rocks players had caught swine flu, forcing the club to postpone a game with Guildford. All of the players made a full recovery.[8]

The team reached the final of 2009–10 Playoffs, losing 80–72 to the Everton Tigers.

Continuing delays on construction of the new National Indoor Sports Arena meant the postponement of the scheduled move and the Rocks remaining at the Kelvin Hall for the 2011–12 season.

The Rocks moved into their new home at the National Indoor Sports Arena, known as the Emirates Arena for sponsorship reasons, in October 2012. The opening game in the arena was a derby match against Newcastle Eagles in front of a record 5,500 crowd, with the Eagles winning 102–84.

The Rocks' first home game at the Emirates, October 2012

After a disappointing league season, the Rocks reached the 2013–14 BBL Trophy Final, played at the Rocks' own Emirates Arena, where they lost out to the Worcester Wolves, 83–76. Captain EJ Harrison, who was plagued by injury for the second half of the season, also announced his retirement from the game.

The Rocks reached the 2014–15 BBL Cup Final, losing 84–71 to the Newcastle Eagles.

The Rocks set a club record 12-game winning streak during the early stages of the 2016–17 season, which would see the team reach the 2016–17 BBL Cup Final in Birmingham. The team lost out to rivals Newcastle, 91–83. Towards the end of the season, the club announced that the last remaining "original" shareholder of the club, Ian Reid, had sold his 50% share in the club to businessman Duncan Smillie. Following the end of the campaign, it was announced long term head coach Sterling Davis was to leave the club.

The Rocks reached the 2018–19 BBL Cup Final, losing 68–54 to the London Lions.

Home arenas[edit]

Meadowbank Arena (1998–2002)
Braehead Arena (2002–2008)
Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena (2008–2012)
Emirates Arena (2012–present)

Season-by-season records[edit]

Season Division Tier Regular Season Post-Season Trophy Cup Head Coach
Finish Played Wins Losses Points Win %
Edinburgh Rocks
1998–1999 BBL I 9th 36 12 24 24 0.333 Did Not Qualify 1st Round (BT) 1st Round (NC) Jim Brandon
1999–2000 BBL (North) I 3rd 36 19 17 38 0.528 Semi Finals 1st Round (BT) Semi Finals (NC) Jim Brandon
2000–2001 BBL (North) I 7th 36 5 31 10 0.139 Did Not Qualify 1st Round (BT) 1st Round (NC) Greg Lockridge
Iain MacLean
2001–2002 BBL (North) I 4th 32 13 19 26 0.406 Quarter Finals 1st Round (BT) Quarter Finals (NC) Kevin Wall
Scottish Rocks
2002–2003 BBL I 6th 40 22 18 44 0.550 Winners, beating Brighton 1st Round (BT) 1st Round (NC) Kevin Wall
2003–2004 BBL I 4th 36 23 13 46 0.639 Quarter Finals Semi Finals (BT) Runners Up (NC) Steve Swanson
2004–2005 BBL I 6th 40 19 21 38 0.475 Semi Finals 1st Round (BT) Runners Up (BC) Steve Swanson
2005–2006 BBL I 2nd 40 29 11 58 0.725 Runners Up Semi Finals (BT) Semi Finals (BC) Steve Swanson
2006–2007 BBL I 4th 36 22 14 44 0.611 Runners Up 1st Round (BT) Runners Up (BC) Thorsten Leibenath
2007–2008 BBL I 5th 33 18 15 36 0.545 Quarter Finals 1st Round (BT) Semi Finals (BC) Sterling Davis
2008–2009 BBL I 7th 33 16 17 32 0.485 Quarter Finals 1st Round (BT) 1st Round (BC) Sterling Davis
Glasgow Rocks
2009–2010 BBL I 3rd 36 23 13 46 0.639 Runners Up Quarter Finals (BT) 1st Round (BC) Sterling Davis
2010–2011 BBL I 6th 33 18 15 36 0.545 Quarter Finals 1st Round (BT) Quarter Finals (BC) Sterling Davis
2011–2012 BBL I 5th 30 16 14 32 0.533 Semi Finals 1st Round (BT) Quarter Finals (BC) Sterling Davis
2012–2013 BBL I 3rd 33 21 12 42 0.636 Quarter Finals Quarter Finals (BT) Quarter Finals (BC) Sterling Davis
2013–2014 BBL I 10th 33 13 20 26 0.394 Did Not Qualify Runners Up (BT) Quarter Finals (BC) Sterling Davis
2014–2015 BBL I 5th 36 21 15 42 0.583 Quarter Finals Quarter Finals (BT) Runners Up (BC) Sterling Davis
2015–2016 BBL I 5th 33 19 14 38 0.576 Semi Finals Quarter Final (BT) Quarter Final (BC) Sterling Davis
2016–2017 BBL I 3rd 33 21 12 42 0.636 Quarter Finals 1st Round (BT) Runners Up (BC) Sterling Davis
2017–2018 BBL I 4th 33 21 12 42 0.636 Semi Finals 1st Round (BT) Quarter Finals (BC) Tony Garbelotto
Darryl Wood
2018–2019 BBL I 5th 33 18 15 36 0.545 Quarter Finals Semi Finals (BT) Runners Up (BC) Darryl Wood
Vincent Lavandier
2019–2020 BBL I Vincent Lavandier

Notes:

  • 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.

Silverware[edit]

Playoffs[edit]

Players[edit]

Current roster[edit]

The following information is established according to the official websites of the team (www.glasgowrocks.co.uk) and Britain's top professional league, the BBL (www.bbl.org.uk)

Glasgow Rocks roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht.
G 1 United States Payne, Devontavious 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
F 3 England Russell, Earl 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
SF 7 Scotland Malcolm, Fraser 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
PG 9 Scotland Bunyan, Jonathan 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
F 15 Scotland Fraser, Alasdair 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
PG 17 United States Pryor, Greg 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
F 22 United States Pepper, Eli 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
PG 23 Scotland Geddes, Alexander 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
C 25 Cameroon Djo Ebala, Maxime 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
G/F 33 Scotland Murray, Gareth (C) 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Head coach
  • France Vincent Lavandier
Assistant coach(es)
  • Spain Ezequiel Blánquez

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

Updated: 12 June 2019

Notable former players[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Retired numbers[edit]

Scottish Rockettes[edit]

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 21 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.

Every year the team release a charity swimsuit calendar.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mark Woods (4 July 2002). "Rocks leave Edinburgh behind". BBC Sport. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  2. ^ Gordon Scott (19 June 2002). "Rocks fan club would back team in Glasgow". Edinburgh Evening News. Archived from the original on 25 February 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  3. ^ Mark Woods (2003). "Scots Rockin' all over the Bears". BritBall. Archived from the original on 21 October 2007. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  4. ^ Mark Woods (2004). "Sheffield claim the Cup". BritBall. Archived from the original on 23 November 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
  5. ^ "Bio: Steve Swanson". ISU Athletics. 2009. Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
  6. ^ Paul Behan (2009). "Scottish Rocks quit Braehead". Paisley Daily Express. Archived from the original on 26 September 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
  7. ^ Matthew Leslie (2009). "Scottish Rocks transform into Glasgow Rocks ahead of new season". The Glaswegian. Archived from the original on 13 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
  8. ^ Matthew Leslie (2009). "Swine flu KO's Glasgow Rocks Pro Basketball Team". The Glaswegian. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
  9. ^ Gavin Glicksman (10 May 2007). "Make it a date to remember". The Sun. London. Retrieved 30 November 2009.

External links[edit]