READING Rockets have made their first new signing in preparation for the 2016/2017 season with the recruitment of American forward Chris Hooper.

The 25-year-old Bronx native will join the Rockets having spent the last four seasons playing in the NCAA for St Francis Terriers, a Division One college in the United States.

He averaged 11 points and five rebounds in 21 minutes of play in his senior year and will be a significant addition to coach Manuel Peña Garcés’ team for the upcoming season.

Hooper has stated his excitement in joining the Rockets and is looking forward to meeting up with his new teammates next month.

The 6ft 6in American said: “I am excited to be a part of the Rockets organisation and I’m looking forward to working with coach Manuel and the rest of the team and seeing what we can achieve this season.

“I also hope to become a better player on the court and a better person off it and I can’t wait to get started for pre-season at the end of August.”

Peña Garcés was delighted to finally make his first new signing of the close season after weeks of deliberations over different players.

The Spaniard has been looking to add to his team after the departures of American duo Antonio Robinson and D’Montre Edwards as well as point guard Jordan Nicholls, and he beamed: “After a long process we have finally been able to secure our first signing with Chris joining us.

“He is a versatile wing, inside player that will provide us with a lot of attributes at both ends of the floor and from different positions and will be a really good fit for the team we are putting together.

“I think he will also work really well with our younger players which is really important to us and I’m sure he will fulfil any role he is given so we are really looking forward to him arriving in Reading.

“We continue to work hard in adding more players to the roster and I am hoping soon enough we will have it completed and ready for the pre-season next month.”

Rockets Director of Coaching Matt Johnson added: “He will bring a toughness to our interior and a competitiveness that is so important to the way our programme needs to be.

“Chris has been good at University where we have previously had a Rockets junior in the form of Richard Clark and we are looking forward to welcoming him to the Rockets family.”