American forward AJ Carr is the latest player to join the Reading Rockets senior men’s squad for the forthcoming 2018/19 National Basketball League (NBL) season.

The 23-year-old, who hails from Fairfax, Virginia, becomes the first American player to be announced for the new season after recent Irish signings Adrian O’Sullivan (24) and Ronan O’Sullivan (24).

A graduate of Saint James School in Maryland, Carr went onto play basketball for Shepherd University in West Virginia for four years, totaling 85 competitive games since 2014.

At 6ft 6ins, Carr will add a brand new dimension to the growing Rockets squad with a versatile playing style that promises to bring a unique flair to the team’s game.

The American will move to Reading in late August, when he will meet with Rockets colleagues for the first time.

Rockets head coach Alan Keane said: “I am very pleased with how our team is coming together. Our most recent signing, AJ, adds another dimension to the team.

“His versatility really suits the style of game we will play. He possesses a skill set which will make us difficult to defend against and we will play at a tempo that will be exciting to watch.

“In addition, AJ’s character fits the values and personal traits we value most at the club. I have big expectations of AJ and have no doubt he will deliver that and some.”

Rockets chairman Gary Johnson added: “To sign someone of AJ’s calibre sends a strong message of our intentions this coming season.

“We are always deeply privileged when a player decides to commit to our club, but never more so than when it requires a move overseas. The whole of Reading will take note when AJ’s in town, and I can’t wait to see the fans’ reaction to his game play.”

Carr explained how his move to the UK came about, saying: “Coach Keane contacted my agent and I about playing in England and joining the Rockets.

“It was an honour to be considered to play professionally overseas in Europe and after talking with Coach Keane and Mr. Johnson, my agents at SportsFive and I decided that signing with the Rockets was the best move for me.

“I’m extremely excited to continue building upon the longstanding success of the Reading Rockets’ programme. The Rockets are family and community-oriented and I’m ecstatic about joining.”