|This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (April 2012)|
|League||British Basketball League|
|Team colours||Navy Blue, White
|Main sponsor||Glasgow Kelvin College|
|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 Emirates Arena in Glasgow. American veteran Sterling Davis is the current head coach of the senior team. Their traditional rivals are Newcastle Eagles.
- 1 Franchise history
- 2 Home arenas
- 3 Season-by-season records
- 4 Sliverware
- 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 2001–02, 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. 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 2003–04 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. 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.
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.
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.
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 three-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 on 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 both the Main Arena and the smaller Sports Hall. Season 2012–13 was a moderately successful season with the team finishing 3rd in the league, but then losing out in the 1st round of the Playoffs to Plymouth. The Rocks lost several notable players at the end of the season, including Brice Fantazia, Donald Robinson and Andrew Wedemire.
By far this was the most disappointing season for The Rocks. Cheshire guard Chez Marks was among several high-profile signings made before the season started, along with former Lions' centre Daniel Northern and Fran Urli. Marks failed to live up to expectations, and left midway through the season. He was replaced by former Great Britain U20 player Alex Marcotullio. Antonio Di Maria also left before the season ended, to be replaced by Canadian swingman Chris Johnson. The highlight of the season was reaching the BBL Trophy Final, played at the Rocks' own Emirates Arena, where they eventually lost out to the Worcester Wolves, 83–76. The Rocks, with their 13-20 record, finished 10th in the league, above only Surrey (4-29) and Birmingham (0-33), and missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2000-01 season. Captain EJ Harrison, who was plagued by injury for the second half of the season, announced his retirement from the game.
The new season brought new faces to the Emirates Arena, including Hayden Lescault (from BG Karlsruhe), rookie American Anthony Elechi (from Morehead State University), Lewis Thomas and development player Boris Matrakov. Former Rock Gareth Murray returned after two seasons playing in France, and returning from the previous year were Kieron Achara, Jordan Clarke and Jonny Bunyan, as well as development players Bantu Burroughs and Yves-Jonathan Ndongala.
In what was seen as a major coup for the club, the Rocks also secured the signature of Leicester Riders and championship-winning point guard Neil Watson. The Rocks were also now to be aided by the services of new assistant coach, and Scotland national performance coach, Erik Olson, who was brought in from Iceland.
The Rocks started the season strong, winning 9 of their opening 10 fixtures, with their only defeat coming from the Newcastle Eagles. This run included a superb 97-92 home victory over the reigning league champions Leicester. Unfortunately, a season ending injury cut short Jordan Clarke’s return to the club, and he was released in order to return home to Canada to complete his rehabilitation. Scottish international point guard Lee Reilly was brought in as his replacement. The team would also reach the BBL Cup Final in Birmingham, with victories over Leeds (82-77), Sheffield (69-57) and Surrey (81-79, 87-73). Unfortunately, again up against the Eagles and missing a fully fit squad, the Rocks were unable to secure their first piece of silverware since 2003, falling 91-83.
Around the New Year, the team’s formed dipped slightly, losing 3 out of 4 league games, but were still able to stay within touching distance of the top two, with games in hand over both Leicester and Newcastle. In the first round of the BBL Trophy, the Rocks were drawn at home against Leicester. In a close game, the Riders prevailed 81-74, the first time the Rocks had not made it past the 1st round of the Trophy since the 2011-12 season.
- Meadowbank Arena (1998–2002)
- Braehead Arena (2002–2008)
- Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena (2008–2012)
- Emirates Arena (2012–present)
|Season||Division||Tier||Regular Season||Post-Season||Trophy||Cup||Head Coach|
|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 (sacked)
|2001–2002||BBL (North)||I||4th||32||13||19||26||0.406||Quarter Finals||1st Round (BT)||Quarter Finals (NC)||Kevin Wall|
|2002–2003||BBL||I||6th||40||22||18||44||0.550||Winners||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|
|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||1st Round (BT)||Runners Up (BC)||Sterling Davis|
- 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)
- BBL Trophy Runners Up: 2013–14 (1)
Glasgow Rocks roster
Notable former players
- Niki Arinze
- Ted Berry
- Mike Copeland
- Ajou Deng
- Julius Joseph
- Nicholas 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 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.
- 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. Archived from the original on 21 October 2007. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
- Mark Woods (2004). "Sheffield claim the Cup". BritBall. Archived from the original on 23 November 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
- "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. Archived from the original on 13 December 2009. 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.