READING Rockets have appointed Mark Bennett MBE as their new head of performance development.

Bennett has worked with elite and development sports, universities, colleges, schools and the British Military during a career spanning more than 25 years, working in more than 20 Olympic and international sports.

He said: “I am delighted to bring the Performance Development Systems to Reading Rockets.

"They are a truly professional organisation which recognises the importance of instilling the correct mentality and behaviour for their players and coaches on and off the court.

"My approach is unique and requires a very specific mindset, but it is one which has proven time and again to result in positive growth, both individually and collectively, with the ultimate objective to deliver performance gains in competition.

"Having worked with GB basketball and Basketball Scotland, as well as clubs in the US, I am looking forward to transferring these experiences onto the Rockets.”

Rockets head coach Alan Keane is delighted to have Bennett – who was awarded his MBE in 2016 – on board.

He commented: "Having Mark work with me for four to five years now has been a privilege, although it doesn’t come without difficulties.

"However, when you have someone of a world-class standard challenging and supporting you in your journey through performance sport, the outcomes are very satisfying.

"Huge credit to the club for being able to secure Mark for the season; it gives a clear message what journey we are on."

Director of Coaching Matt Johnson concluded: "These are exciting times for Reading Rockets with several notable appointments ahead of the forthcoming season.

"Bringing Mark on board will take our club to an entirely new level of performance and mentality.

"Having Mark around is certainly not a comfortable experience all the time for players, coaches, managers and staff.

"Mark’s approach is about challenging the things that get in the way of high performance."

He continued: "It can be quite daunting – he is critical yet supportive and we are thrilled to welcome him closer to work with some of our coaches and players.”