Weigh to lead Rockets to champs
STEPHEN Weigh returns to the Republik Nightclub Rockets tonight to lead the way in the club's pursuit of back-to-back QBL championships.
Rockhampton's number one basketball export touched down in Rockhampton yesterday morning as the final piece of Rockhampton Republik Nightclub Rockets coach Neal Tweedy's 2011 roster.
Weigh had his first session with the Rockets last night before taking to the court tonight in the Rockets' round five clash with the Brisbane Capitals at Hegvold Stadium.
In his first season at the Rockets since 2008, the 24-year-old said he had plenty to offer after three seasons with the Perth Wildcats in the NBL.
“Hopefully I can bring back a bit of that experience playing in the championship-winning side in 2008 with former Rockets and NBL players Ben Thompson and Rhys Martin, and also the experience I've gained in the NBL,” he said.
“I'd like to pass on a few things to the other guys, in particular the younger guys in the squad and in the junior programs in Rockhampton.”
With the likes of Ryan Jeffries, Travis Reed and Pero Vasiljeric among the Rockets roster, Weigh has ambitions of repeating those feats in 2011, but understands the team will have to work hard to achieve its goals.
“Obviously, the last time I was playing here it was a bit of a dream run winning state and national championships,” he said.
“It's a pretty exciting group on paper, but that means nothing, it's about going out working hard and hopefully getting wins and basically building up to the pointy end of the year and the playoffs where games become very important.”
The Australian Boomers player said tonight's match, and this season, wasn't about him scoring huge points, but about finding his place in the Rockets team.
“Tomorrow night my goal is to come in and really not try and disrupt what the boys have going on,” he said.
“With a limited preparation it'll really just be about getting on the same page as the team and the coaches in terms of offences and defences. There's a lot to take in, but tomorrow night I'll just come in and really try and play the part of whatever the coaches want me to do and hopefully that results in a win.”
Rockets coach Neal Tweedy echoed Weigh in realising the difficult task in slotting straight into the side.
“We'll just try and work him in and build on it from there,” Tweedy said.
Weigh recently signed a two-year deal with the Adelaide 36ers after three seasons at the Perth Wildcats in the NBL with the opportunity to link-up with his former AIS coach Marty Clarke.
“That was key. Marty, along with assistant coach Mark Radford, who was with the Perth Wildcats in my second year there, were the keys to me signing there,” he said.
Weigh replaces short-term import Chuck Long, who has done an excellent job over the past five matches.