It's just days away - start of the QBL for Port City Power
BASKETBALL: The move to Gladstone will be a blessing for ex-Rockhampton Rockets player Jared Blanchard.
As Rockets coach Neal Tweedy assembled a powerful Rockets roster, Blanchard says he's excited at the opportunity at Gladstone Port City Power Capricorn Surge.
"I didn't play last QBL season and Power coach Brady (Walmsley) hit me up," he said.
His hoops journey began as an eight-year-old and has played at representative level from under-12 and up.
Blanchard made an impressive debut - albeit in a practice game - against a weakened Rockets recently in which he scored 18 points and produced two spectacular slam dunks.
The quietly-spoken 21-year-old last played for Rockhampton in 2017 where he averaged 8.4ppg and averaged close to 20 minutes per game.
He was a member of the Rockets' 2014 grand final-winning team as a 16-year-old.
"I didn't get much court time then, but that was a good experience then," Blanchard said.
The shooting guard-cum-forward will have a "take it as it comes" approach for this season.
"I just to see how the season goes and I haven't played in like over a year and hopefully will go alright," Blanchard said.
Walmsley also coached Blanchard when he played for Queensland and he noted a change in the Power mentor.
"I'd say he was a bit more intense then and he was bringing up young kids then so you sort of get onto them at a young age," Blanchard said.
"He's a bit more laid back now than what I experienced back then."
Blanchard said he's excited to have fellow new Power players Stephen Kiir and Kyle Tipene on board.
Power's women and men meet Rocky this Saturday at Kev Broome at 6pm and 8pm respectively in round one of the QBL.