The SKY Sport Breakers are confirming their 12-man roster for the upcoming season more than two months before the opening game against Andrew Bogut’s Sydney Kings on October 18.
It is the earliest the club has confirmed its roster and is being attributed to new Director of Basketball Dan Shamir’s tireless work behind the scenes, since arriving in New Zealand last month.
American Shooting Guard Sek Henry joins the SKY Sport Breakers after being named Israeli League MVP in 2018 for Maccabi Ashdod, where he averaged 17.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists a game.
Assistant coach Zico Coronel says the 32-year-old is going to make an immediate impact in the NBL.
“He can do it all. He is a very good perimeter shooter, he can play multiple positions, he can create his own shot, and he’s pretty dynamic athletically when he gets loose at the rim”.
The second import joining the roster today is 6’9” Nigerian Centre Chris Obekpa who Coronel believes will be a real difference-maker for the Breakers.
“He’s a rim protector, a great rebounder, great interior defender, and then he’s a Clint Capela (Houston Rockets) likeoffensive player who will bring some excitement on lobs and screen dives”, he said.
Obekpa arrives from playing in Lebanon where he has been averaging an eye-catching 11 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game.
The 25-year-old was the blocks leader in the 2018 Turkish Super League and had fleeting NBA experience with the Golden State Warriors in 2016.
The other player confirmed to the roster is no stranger to New Zealand basketball fans after dominating for Lebanon in two World Cup qualifiers over the last 12-months.
6’10” Centre Ater Majok holds an Australian passport and was averaging 13 points, 10.5 rebounds and two blocks in the home and away series against the Tall Blacks.
Assistant coach Mike Fitchett says Majok brings rich pedigree including being drafted by the LA Lakers in the 2011 NBA Draft.
“Defensively he’s a great shot blocker in all the leagues he’s been in,” says Fitchett.
“Offensively he’s a great screen and dive guy, as well as being able to shoot it out to the elbows”.
The three new players will not arrive in New Zealand until September 1, but the first of the overseas-based players start coming this week with Australian Jarrad Weeks flying in on Saturday.
Chinese NBA Global Academy star Terry Li will arrive on Sunday while American teen phenom RJ Hampton lands August 17, just in time to travel to Eden Park to watch the All Blacks take on the Wallabies in the Bledisloe Cup.
SKY Sport Breakers NBL20 Roster
PG: RJ Hampton**, Jarrad Weeks, Terry Li***
SG: Corey Webster, Sek Henry*
SF: Thomas Abercrombie (c), Jordan Ngatai, Scotty Hopson*
PF: Finn Delany, Tom Vodanovich
C: Rob Loe, Chris Obekpa*, Ater Majok
Denotes: * Restricted Player (Import) ** Next Stars Player *** Development Player