The Who's Who of the Rockets Men Premier League
The Who's Who of the Rockets Men Premier League
The North Adelaide Basketball Clubs Men’s Premier League team for 2015 is a mix of veteran talent, some up and coming NABC juniors and some exciting new faces.
Tom Rowe (Team Captain), Brett Collins, Luke Mapunda and John Wernham all qualify as quality veterans, who have proven they can compete at this level over a number of years. We are confident what this group will bring to the games, and that is a massive positive for us.
Big improvers last year Daniel Goodluck (winner of last year’s MVP), Luke Pike and Adam Schild (last years Most Improved) are looked upon as opportunities for continued development. Big things are expected from these three, as more is demanded from them on a week to week basis and opponents recognise the need to pay them a lot more attention.
There’s also a group of players who successfully made their debuts in the last year or so, who are still learning about the demands of the Premier League, but are expected to take another step forward this year. All very talented and fighting for a chance to show they can compete at this level. This group includes Joel Pitt, Matt Freeman, Kane DellaPia, and Jono Lloyd. Given the chance, they are certainly all capable of playing valuable minutes when required.
There are also a couple of brand new faces this year, with import Aric Miller at the top of the list. Aric showed in the pre season tournament (top scorer for all teams), that he is capable of anything. He can certainly score and is a great passer, so big things are expected. Another new face is Isaac Nyembo, who comes to us from Eastern. Isaac is a point guard who can provide some valuable minutes off the bench and create some havoc with his defence.
Our group of juniors, recently out of U18 and U23 ranks includes Brad Jonnek, Daniel Pomery, Jordan Goggins and Jake Crammond. All these boys are getting their first taste of the demands of Premier League basketball, and are having to adapt quickly. They have realised the fitness demands are high and this is a big commitment for them. They are hoping for a taste of what it is like to be on court during a game, and establishing themselves as players who can contribute off the bench in the short term.
On our long term injury/recovery list is Josh Bond who continues to astound with his improvement. Bondy is a club favourite, and slowly but surely getting himself back into shape. He rarely misses training and we are expecting that improvement to continue over the coming months.
Coach Nathan Hawkes, assistants Steve Denton and Matt Sparkman are expecting and demanding a big effort this year in a push to finals. Get on board and follow us on our return to finals action.
Singlet Number 2
Aric is the team’s import this year and with that, carries big expectations. Played for Armstrong State University (USA) in 2013, where he was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division II Men’s Basketball All-American Team. The team is looking for Aric to “do what is necessary” for us to win, be that as a playmaker, a scorer, or a leader in close games where his experience will be invaluable.
Singlet Number 3
Jono is an up and coming junior who had a taste of senior Men’s basketball in 2014. He is a point guard with an elite fitness level, who can carry the ball with confidence. He is learning the craft of a point guard at a senior level and big things are expected. Look out for him coming off the bench this year and having some influence on a game with his pace.
Singlet Number 4
Daniel (or Lucky), is a guard capable of carrying the ball or playing a shooting guard’s role. He is a scorer, is quick, goes hard to the basket and is capable of making passes under pressure. He was the team’s MVP last year, and now faces a year where other teams are much more aware of his abilities and are certainly going to be paying him more attention. We are expecting another big year from Lucky.
Singlet Number 5
Kane is another who has come through our junior program. He had a taste of Premier League last year, but has had a big pre-season, worked very hard on his fitness and will get his opportunity in 2015. He is a “catch and shoot” player, more than capable of scoring at any level and is keen to develop other parts of his game. He is a bit of a “gym junkie” often found at Hillcrest shooting the ball and improving his game.
Singlet Number 6
Everyone knows the story of Josh Bond, an elite shooter at this level who has had his challenges over the last 18 months. His courage and determination is an inspiration to us all. He has gone through pre-season training and is busy with his rehab both on and off the court in an effort to again grace the Hillcrest court with his presence. We are expecting massive improvement again this year.
Singlet Number 7
John is one of the few players in this squad who is not a North Junior, having spent his development years at Forestville. But after 3 seasons with us, has become one of the stalwarts of the team who we rely on week in week out and he always delivers. A rebounder and scorer who is capable of winning games off his own back. A massive presence in the keyway.
Singlet Number 8
Tom is North through and through and as team Captain, when he talks, everyone listens. He is often the one most players look to for advice and help with their game and regularly sets the tone at games and practice. Played his 250th game in 2014 and hopefully there are many more to come. Has always done what the team has required and contributes in many ways. This year looks like spending a lot more time at the guard position, but his adaptability is his strength.
Singlet Number 9
Brett is another North junior who having played in the team for a number of years now is considered a quality veteran. He is an excellent 3 point shooter, who is also capable of carrying the ball when required, and gives his all on the court doing whatever it takes to help the team win. With the inclusion of Aric this year we would expect Brett to be looking at his shot more, and hitting some of those “long bombs” to win us some games.
Singlet Number 10
Brad is an ex Forestville junior who came across to North as a first year U23 Division 1 player. He is a scorer, with an excellent 3 point shot, who is also capable of getting himself to the basket for a layup and a foul for an extra free throw. Will be part of the expanded rotation, coming off the bench this year, as we look to ramp up our scoring opportunities.
Singlet Number 11
Matt is a North junior who has worked hard on his game and is now in his second season as part of the Men’s Premier League team. He is a shooting guard who is capable of scoring from the outside and also by getting himself to the basket. Tough competitor who just picks himself up when fouled hard and gets on with the game. Matt missed most of the pre-season with illness but is working his way back into it with some good performances at training. Look for him to come off the bench to help the team score against a zone in particular.
Singlet Number 12
This is Daniel’s first year as part of the Men’s squad, having come through the U23 ranks. He is more than capable of playing at this level as he adapts to the demands of training and playing on a more regular basis. Good shooter and rebounder, who will be difficult to match up on given his size and would be looking forward to an opportunity to come off the bench and contribute.
Singlet Number 14
Joel is a small forward, or shooting guard who is adaptable to playing several roles depending on the opposition. Came off the bench last year a few times and did not disappoint with his contribution. Has had a few injuries during pre-season this year and is slowly getting himself back into game shape. Another one looking to contribute off the bench depending on the situation, but mainly as a scorer and a tough defensive player.
Singlet Number 15
Adam has been playing basketball for North since Under 10’s and has always played the game like he enjoys it. He is a very good shot blocker and more than capable of protecting the keyway allowing other players to take risks guarding their man. Great rebounder at both ends of the floor, who regularly came off the bench last year until John Wernham got injured then started several games. Has been working on his offensive moves this year in an effort to become a better all round player. Big things are expected in 2015 and we are confident he will deliver.
Singlet Number 16
Jordan has come into the group having had a couple of very good seasons with the Men’s Division 2 program, and through his efforts at U23 Division 1 level. A more than capable rebounder who is learning the requirements of the Men’s program. Would be looking to establish himself as part of the rotations off the bench this year as he continues to improve on his all round game. A difficult match up for any opposition.
Singlet Number 17
Jake is a late comer to the group, having been spotted at the U23 trials at the start of the summer season. A big body who is not afraid to mix it with the other big boys in the paint and is prepared help the team in any way he can. His work is often not seen on statistic sheets as he sets screens, blocks opposition players from the rebound and scores when required. Has developed quickly and as experience grows so will his opportunity.
Singlet Number 30
Luke (or Leroy) is a true professional. He is constantly in the gym working on his game and looking for improvement. In turn he has the same expectations of other players and that professionalism carries through. Is capable of many things, being a great rebounder, scorer and passer, but his experience in particular is invaluable in this group as he sets the example for others to follow.
Singlet Number 33
Luke (or Pikey) is a true team player. For several years now he has contributed off the bench in whatever capacity the coach has asked and always done a good job. But this year in one where there has been a change. He is much more confident, and has already proven to be a capable scorer, who adds a spark off the bench. A very important part of the team’s rotations in 2015.
Singlet Number 40
Isaac came to North Adelaide from Eastern during the summer season this year, and has proven that he can be part of the main playing group. He is a point guard capable of contributing as a passer or a scorer, and is a very aggressive defender. Will be a great benefit to the team, coming off the bench as a relief to the starters, without reducing the pressure on the opposition.
Nathan’s second year in charge of the group. After a tough year last year he has really put the boys through their paces in early 2015. An ex NABC junior (and Life Member), he played NBL for the Adelaide 36ers and the Newcastle Falcons over an 11 year professional career. He captained the Rockets Men’s Team in the ABA for almost 10 years and was MVP an amazing 6 times. Nathan’s experience at the professional level is invaluable to the Group and to the individuals within. He has pulled out all the stops this year in an effort to return the Rockets to their rightful place in the finals.
Steve came to the game a little later than most kids, but did play junior basketball at Norwood, and in fact won a State MVP whilst in Under 18’s. He also started playing Senior Men’s basketball at a very young age. He played for the Adelaide Buffaloes in the tough SEABL league, and was captain of the Centrals ABA side for 5 years. Steve is very important to the group, and the big men in particular, given his experiences over an extended period of time. He is also a good source of advice to the many younger members of the squad as they make their way in Senior Men’s basketball.
Matt is another with a wealth of experience in Senior basketball competition. He is a North junior, progressing through the ranks to play for the Men’s ABA side for a number of years, before moving to Centrals where he was Team Captain. He is a fitness guru and a major source of advice for all the boys in their efforts to become bigger, stronger and fitter. He is responsible for the improved fitness levels of the boys over the last couple of years having overseen the pre-season program.