The SKYCITY Breakers will be busy in the off-season, either in playing (or coaching) in the New Zealand NBL, or working with various national teams – again as players or coaches.
While imports have headed away to new opportunities or for a rest and refresh back home (CLICK HERE for our recent update on imports), our New Zealand players are lining up opportunities here in New Zealand or overseas.
Part of the Breakers philosophy is for players and coaches to learn and face new challenges, hence players and coaches are encouraged to continue their growth, either with overseas opportunities or here in the New Zealand NBL.
With the New Zealand NBL season underway on March 9, here is a detailed look at the season ahead for our Breakers roster – and coaching staff.
Fans should check all the live streaming options with NZME, and coverage on Maori Television for the NBL (a live game every Sunday at 3pm, plus live coverage of the Final Four).
CLICK HERE for all NBL details, including live streaming, schedule, team news, tables and results.
Tom Abercrombie – on contract for 2017/18
Tom is currently playing with Demir Insaat Buyukcekmece in the Turkish first division. Tom is on a short-term contract that will have him available for Tall Black duties in 2017, and then a return for pre-season training with the SKYCITY Breakers.
Alex Pledger – on contract for 2017/18
‘Chief’ is signed up again with the Southland Sharks where he will look to dominate the paint at both ends of the floor as the premier big man in the NBL.
Jordan Ngatai – off contract
Jordan is signed with the Wellington Saints in the NZ NBL, the combo guard/small forward will also have his eye on the New Zealand Select Tour to China and the Tall Blacks programme in 2017. A good season in the NBL and further honours will again go a long way towards Ngatai returning next season.
Corey Webster – option for both player and club for 2017/18
Webster returns to the Saints after a season with the Super City Rangers in the NZ NBL. After initially looking to go under the knife, Webster has opted against surgery and has been rehabbing his hip injury to be ready for the NBL season.
Shea Ili – on contract 2017/18
Look for another standout season in the NZ NBL with the Wellington Saints for point guard Ili, in particular as he looks to add accuracy on offence to his already superb defensive game. Another that will surely feature in New Zealand team plans this winter.
Finn Delany – on contract 2017/18
After making such an impact in his first season on the full roster with the SKYCITY Breakers, Finn Delany heads home to play for his Nelson Giants. A player who will look to further hone his all-round athletic game that will likely see him get further opportunities at national team level also this winter.
Kirk Penney and Mika Vukona are set to enjoy a good break in the off-season, before beginning their pre-season work for another tilt at the ANBL Championship with the SKYCITY Breakers in 2017/18.
Rob Loe is currently in discussions with the Breakers about a possible return for next season, he was off contract at the end of the just completed campaign.
Derone Raukawa – off contract
Development player Raukawa will be keen on plenty of game time and expect him to be prominent for the Southland Sharks in this year’s New Zealand league. After impressing on the New Zealand Select tour in 2016, a strong NBL will again have him in the frame for national honours.
Ethan Rusbatch – off contract
Like Raukawa, after a season of learning as a development player, Rusbatch will be keen on big minutes and a big impact with the Canterbury Rams. He earned his spot with the Breakers on the back of an impressive 2016 season, including selection to the Tall Blacks. Beyond the age limit for a D-Unit spot next season, Rusbatch will be amongst those looking to earn a fulltime roster spot with the club next season.
Sam Waardenburg – off contact
Sam held a development player contract as a schoolboy this past season, and has since taken up a scholarship to study and play with the University of Miami in the United States.
The SKYCITY Breakers Assistant Coach takes the reins again at the Southland Sharks, looking to lead the Invercargill based team back to the playoffs and to once again challenge for a title.
Fitch will be charged with running the Breakers Academy over the winter months as he nurtures the future of the club with regular training sessions and games in local competitions.
No rest for Pauli as he picks up the pace with the Tall Blacks as they contemplate a first appearance at the Asian Cup in August. Henare will be a more than interested spectator at games throughout the NBL season, keeping an eye on possible national team talent, but also future Breakers players.
General Manager Dillon Boucher
Boucher continues to repel father time as he laces up the high-tops for another season in the NBL with the Super City Rangers.