Video: Rucker powers up for return to court
THE shooting style is still unmistakable.
Whether the results are as good as when he tore up the NBL as one of it's most dynamic scorers for 15 seasons is another thing.
But at 47, and not having touched a basketball for several years, Derek Rucker is eyeing off the challenge of making a one-off playing comeback for the Gladstone Port City Power against Mackay on May 23.
Rucker, who won the NBL's coveted MVP award with the Brisbane Bullets in his debut year in 1990, has been training at Brisbane's Auchenflower Stadium in preparation after being cleared by Basketball Australia.
It's a bold move by the son of former NFL star Reggie Rucker.
Rucker retired in 2006 as one of the most successful US imports ranked in the all-time top 10 for scoring, assists, steals and three-point shooting - his trademark in heart-stopping finishes.
"I don't think I will embarrass myself, although the possibility definitely exists," he told APN during an exclusive interview yesterday.
"I'd like to be able to score a few points, but if I can just play as a pure point guard and direct the team and run the team and provide some leadership on the floor that will be good enough.
"The thing that worries me though is my mind thinking I am still 30 years old and wanting to get into it and my body isn't 30.
Rucker, born in Washington DC and a graduate of Davidson College, played in the NBL during it's golden era against the likes of superstar guards Andrew Gaze, Shane Heal and Robert Rose.
He was a fearless shooter down the stretch, blessed with serious quickness to be able penetrate and drive through the key and dish off or take it to the hoop.
"I am one kilo lighter than my playing weight but the challenge is getting my heart and legs ready," he said.
"This is the first time in eight years I've thought about playing and, to be honest, I am really stimulated by the challenge.
"I think it would give impetus to a lot of 40-somethings to realise you can still go out and do things and take on life's challenges.''
Rucker, who came close to an NBL championship on two occasions, said he felt the game in Australia could still get back to somewhere near it's glory days if it had a team in south-east Queensland and the competition reverted back to the its old format in the middle of the year.
Rucker and another former Brisbane Bullets player Blair Smith will stage a two-day camp in Gladstone on May 24-25 for people in central Queensland to attend.