The McDonald’s Rockhampton Rockets are excited to announce the signing of American Import Malcolm Bernard for the 2018 QBL season.
The 6’6 combo guard continues the recruiting trend adding size and length and the ability to play across multiple positions, a clear strategy from Coach Tweedy as he looks to put the Rockets back in Championship contention. “We’ll play a different brand of basketball this year. We want all our players to be able to push the ball in transition and create, play both ends of the floor, and fit into a positive team culture, and Malcolm definitely ticks all those boxes” Tweedy said.
Bernard touches on this when highlighting what the Rockhampton fans can expect. “I can do everything. That’s always been my niche. I think I’m a well-rounded player who can impact the game in multiple ways”.
Bernard transferred from Florida A&M to powerhouse program Xavier for his Senior year of college, helping the Musketeers progress to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament. “At the start of the season I was building trust with the team, but once that happened I had a really strong second half of the year” Bernard explained.
This was highlighted by Bernard having his best game of the season in the sweet 16 to knock off the fancied number 2 seed Arizona. “The bigger the game, the bigger the moment, the bigger I play. I’ve always been that way” said Bernard.
It will be a welcome addition for the Rockets as they continue their positive rebuild, hoping to progress on strong finish in 2017 where they beat top seed Brisbane Capitals to progress to the Semi- Finals. “We think we’ve got some guys who can win games, along with some guys who can play the specific roles that put us in positions to win” says Tweedy.
“The QBL is getting tougher each season, so we need to make sure we’re evolving and improving. We’ve still got some pieces of the puzzle to finalize, but right now the guys we’ve brought in are the exact guys we want” he continued. “They’re guys who are going to be great for our community, and great for our team”.
Five weeks out from their season opener against the Logan Thunder, the Rockets will now turn their focus to four pre-season games, with home and away series against local rivals Mackay and Gladstone. Fans will get the opportunity to see the new look Rockets at home against Mackay on Saturday 14th of April, and Gladstone on Wed 18th April.
For his part Bernard can’t wait to touch down in Rocky and get started. “I’ve heard it’s a great community and an even better place to play. Apparently it’s only a small gym, but the fans pack it out and make it a tough environment for opposition teams. That sounds like my kind of people” he said.
Starting next week Rockhampton Basketball will be releasing a small number of season tickets for fans looking to be a part of the action for Season 2018.