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Thursday, 4 July, 2002, 13:24 GMT 14:24 UK
Rocks leave Edinburgh behind
Will the Glasgow public be turned on by basketball?
The Rocks are on the move to Glasgow's Braehead

In America, sports teams up sticks and move around the country with alarming regularity in search of greener pastures and bigger bucks.

The system of franchises is widely accepted despite the emotional heartache which accompanies the departure of any team from its established home to a new city.

For supporters of Edinburgh Rocks however, that pain is all too real. Scotland's only professional basketball side have announced plans to move away from the capital to a new home at Glasgow's 4000 seater Braehead Arena.

Starting next season, the newly re-named Scottish Rocks will be attempting to convert the west coast to the culture of slam dunks and three-pointers as they bid for greater glories in the British Basketball League.

The city is no stranger to the BBL. Back in 1989, a team playing under the Glasgow Rangers banner were crowned league champions before themselves moving south.

And the new arrivals are hoping that a change of scenery will pay dividends on, and off, the court.

"The facilities are world class," said Rocks chairman Ian Reid.


This deal ensures that the Scottish Rocks are well positioned to compete at the highest level
Chairman Ian Reid
"As a growing franchise committed to offering first class entertainment, with aspirations to play in Europe and host world class events, the potential offered by the Arena and surrounding commercial and community opportunities could not be turned down."

Financial reality has spurred the move, one which mirrors the departure along the M8 of American football's Scottish Claymores two years ago.

The Rocks' fellow BBL members Manchester Giants folded completely midway through last season and with no television deal in place for next term, survival was paramount in the decision.

However the move west could now see Glasgow host large events such as the BBL All-Star Game and Trophy final.

"We are lucky enough to have the opportunity to make this fabulous arena ours," Reid added.

"The venue will attract the right media and commercial interest to keep the profile of the game at its highest.

"With other UK teams such as London Towers and Milton Keynes Lions also planning moves to Arenas within the next few years this deal ensures that the Scottish Rocks are well positioned to compete at the highest level both home and abroad."

Supporters of Clydebank and Wimbledon will however have some sympathy with those left behind.

"Sad to see the end of a dream," lamented one visitor to the club's website.

Edinburgh's Rocks though now belong to Glasgow.

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