REVEALED: Rockets sign 6 foot 5 US star
BASKETBALL:Towering at a staggering 200cm, it's no wonder Demond Watt has already earned a Rockhampton Rockets 'big man' title.
Watt, due to fly into Rockhampton on Saturday, has been announced as the McDonald's Rockhampton Rockets first American Import for the 2017 Queensland Basketball League season.
The six-foot-five star won't have much time to settle in to the Beef Capital as he may suit up for the Rockets' pre-season clash against the Gladstone Power at Hegvold Stadium on Easter Sunday.
Rockets coach Neal Tweedy said the former Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders player follows the mould of past successful Rockets 'big men'.
"He's athletic, a fantastic re-bounder on both ends of the court, and will provide solid rim protection at the defensive end,” Tweedy said.
During his four years with the Texas squad, Watt showed outstanding growth and in his final year, led his team averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds a game.
Since leaving Texas A&M, Watt has played professionally in Sweden, Finland, Iceland, UK, France and now Rockhampton, Australia.
Watt posted good numbers across the board during his professional stint, but there's one stat in particular that has Tweedy cheering.
"His shooting percentage is outstanding,” the Rockets coach said.
"Professionally he's never been below 54%, and has had four seasons at 60+%. That puts him in really elite company.”
While playing for the Cheshire Phoenix in the UK BBL competition in 2015, Watt was selected to the BBL first team and was a strong candidate in the league MVP voting on the back of an impressive 19 points and 11 rebounds a game.
Tweedy said that's the type of form the Rockets are hoping Watt can bring to Hegvold Stadium.
"This year we are going to require our American's to be go to players,” Tweedy said.
"We're confident we've found that with Demond, however we're also really happy with the way he passes the ball and finds open players.
"That makes teams have to think twice about sending a double team.”
Watt is thrilled about calling Australia home for the next few months while playing the sport he loves.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity to come to Rockhampton and be a part of such a strong program,” the US star said.
"For the past six months I've been focusing on my body and getting it right to play some great basketball. I'm hungry to hit the court and show the people of Rockhampton what I can do.”
At this stage, it is not known whether Watt's transfer will process in time to take the court again Gladstone, but either way he's looking forward to seeing what all the fuss is about regardin Rockhampton home games.
"I've heard a lot about our home games. They tell me the crowd is literally hanging from the roof, and that the fans are some of the most vocal supporters anywhere,” he said.
Tickets for Easter Sunday's pre-season game are available from Rockhampton Basketball by calling 4922 5544.
Tip-off from 6pm.