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Rucker ready to prove he can still play top basketball at 47

HEYDAYS: Derek Rucker playing for the West Sydney Razorbacks in the NBL finals series in 2002. Rucker will take the court for the first time in years tonight for the McDonald’s Port City Power.
HEYDAYS: Derek Rucker playing for the West Sydney Razorbacks in the NBL finals series in 2002. Rucker will take the court for the first time in years tonight for the McDonald’s Port City Power. Contributed

CRUNCH time is here for Derek Rucker, the moment of truth.

Rucker, who averaged over 30 points a game three times when he was in top flight playing NBL, is back on court after eight years out of the game, returning to the sport with the McDonald's Port City Power.

The basketballer is now 47, and has been struggling with sore legs, but still has high hopes of contributing to a win for the Power.

"I would like to score double figures and get four or five assists," he said.

"I want to play at a high quality and not mess around out there on the court."

Helping the team to its first win of the year his main concern, Rucker is not worried about ruining his legacy in the NBL, including being the Most Valuable Player in 1990.

So, 24 years on from the prestigious award, Rucker wants to prove to fans and himself he still has the ability to play.

"About four weeks ago when I arrived in Gladstone to visit a friend, at first I said no, I didn't think I would be able to," he said.

"It has been five years since I played pickup and eight years since my last game in the NBL."

Mackay have only lost to the undefeated defending premiers Rockhampton this season.

For Rucker, winning the game is a goal, but getting through the challenge will be enough of a success.

"I thought I had given it up," he said.

Power v Mackay

  • Matches tonight at Kev Broome Stadium
  • Women 6.30pm
  • Men 8.30pm

Topics:  basketball derek rucker gladstone sport port city power



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