The Wokingham Paper

Reading Rockets season concludes early amid coronavirus outbreak

Declan Soukup assesses his options
Reading Rockets v Bradford Dragons Declan Soukup

Reading Rockets’ season has come to a premature close this week with the suspension and then cancellation of all competitions as the governing body, Basketball England, were forced to act amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

With all of Rockets’ 15 teams coming to a halt, the club released four Division One Men’s players who were keen to return to their native countries with the Berkshire club acting quickly to enable this to happen.

American duo Nick Richards and Liam Davis safely returned to the United States with Spanish double act Matias Boho Sayo and Pau Mayor able to return to Spain which is currently in lockdown.

All four players made significant contributions in their first season with the Reading team, who were lying in a play-off spot with three regular season games remaining in NBL Division One.

The Berkshire outfit had made it to the National Cup final this season but were beaten by the history-making Team Solent Kestrels who were crowned league champions before the unanticipated end to proceedings for the 2019-2020 campaign.

Club Chairman Gary Johnson was quick to act to see the safe return of his players to their families and wishes all the Rockets family well during this uncertain time. He said:

“We had no hesitation in actioning the guys requests to return home when the season was suspended and I am thrilled all four of them were able to get back to their families. Although at the time the season was only classed as ‘suspended’, the health, safety, and welfare of all our players, coaches, families etc is paramount to us so it was a no brainer.”

“During this difficult time I want to extend my good wishes to the Rockets family, the basketball community, and beyond in the knowledge that although we are in unprecedented times and it’s important to stay safe, we can and will get through this situation.”

Rockets’ Division One Women and academy players from abroad were also able to return to their native countries and families as the 2019/2020 has now officially ended.

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