BREAKERS WELCOME BACK WEBSTER AS ROSTER IS FINALISED
The SKYCITY Breakers officially commence their pre-season at their Atlas Place gym today and announced the completion of their roster of 10 fully contracted players and 4 development players (3 contracted), with former Breaker Corey Webster nabbing the final spot on the fulltime list of players.
Webster had been let go by the club following a doping violation that led to a one year WADA imposed suspension.
Webster has however reacted in a positive way to his time away from the game, reassessing his lifestyle and long term goals in the game of basketball, a reaction that has been closely monitored by the club.
“When the club cut Corey we did so with regret in the knowledge that this could make or break a very promising young basketballer,” said SKYCITY Breakers General Manager Richard Clarke.
“Corey came through our development and academy programmes before joining the fulltime roster so knew full well the values and high expectations we place on everyone at the organisation.
He has had to face the reality of what life could be like if he had basketball taken away and has spent his time out of the game to make a lot of changes in his life.
He has worked incredibly hard on and off court over the past 12 months, we are proud of how he has reacted to what could have been a career defining obstacle.
He has earned back his opportunity to be a Breaker again.
Webster is grateful for the second chance with the club and wants to repay that faith.
“This means everything to me.
I know what it was to have it taken away and that was very painful.
Basketball is my life and getting this opportunity once again means everything to me.
I am only halfway there though, I have to earn the respect of the players and the SKYCITY Breakers family, and I have to prove I have made the right changes.
“The mistakes you make don’t define you provided they put you on a path to better things.
So long as you learn from them, make the right changes and become a good professional I will go some way to proving the club has made a good decision to bring me back.
One of the people Webster had to convince was Breakers Head Coach Andrej Lemanis, and he has been impressed by what he has seen from the 23 year old.
“I look forward to having the 'new' Corey a member of the SKYCITY Breakers family.
His time away from the game has allowed him to assess what is truly important to him - I feel that he has made some life changes which will allow him to not only be a better basketball player, but a more positive contributor to society.
He has done all we have asked of him over the past couple of months.
“Other ANBL teams were chasing him, but he has a burning ambition to be a SKYCITY Breaker and put things right.
We asked him do a number of things, with no promise of a contract - he jumped through every hoop without question.
He wants to play basketball, he wants to be a Breaker, and importantly, now understands what that actually means.
While Lemanis has been convinced to bring Webster back into the fold, he makes it clear the job is far from done.
“There's no doubt he will have to win the trust of everyone in the Breaker family - this can only be done with actions.
Obviously we believe Corey has made the changes necessary to be given another opportunity.
For us, it's now a case of moving forward - nothing else needs to be said, it's now in the doing!
“On court, Corey is a natural scorer.
He has a unique ability to put the ball in the basket.
He can play both shooting guard and point guard positions which fits well with our strategy of having multiple ball handlers in the back court.
He will arrive in great shape after having spent two months in China under the tutelage of Brian Goorjian and his staff - we expect Corey to come in and contribute immediately.
He knows the Breaker way - doing what it takes to make the team better - we look forward to discovering how best he will help this group.
Of the entire roster now it is assembled, Lemanis is enthused by the group and the season ahead.
“The coaching staff are pleased with the group we have put together.
It is a new season and we have to establish who we are and how this group fits together and the synergies and chemistry required to best utilise everyone’s talents.
That is the excitement of the pre-season, seeing how that evolves over the first couple of months of the year.
“We have a good mix of youth and experience and there is a clear desire and drive in the group to push for a championship.
But as we know at the SKYCITY Breakers that means one day at a time and getter better one day at a time throughout the season.
The depth in the sport is again evident in the quality of young players given the opportunity to further their careers with Development Player contracts.
22 year old Josh Bloxham returns to offer depth in the guard position and a genuine option from the bench while highly regarded teenager Reuben Te Rangi and 21 year old swingman Morgan Natanahira both progress from the Academy and into the roster with Development contracts.
Tai Webster is in an un-contracted role given his pending departure to the American Collegiate system, which prohibits him taking a contracted spot on the roster.
SKYCITY Breakers 2012/13 Roster
Cedric Jackson Point Guard
Corey Webster Guard
Daryl Corletto Guard
CJ Bruton Guard
Tom Abercrombie Swingman
Leon Henry Forward
Mika Vukona Forward
Dillon Boucher Forward
Will Hudson Forward/Centre
Alex Pledger Centre
Josh Bloxham Point Guard
Reuben Te Rangi Shooting guard/Small forward
Morgan Natanahira Power forward
Non Contracted Development Player
Tai Webster Point Guard