Topic: Basketball

Breakers welcome NBA import

By Moana Makapelu Lee
  • Auckland

Breakers welcomed their newest import today, former NBA player of the Indiana Pacers' Rakeem Christmas who has signed for the remainder of the ANBL season. A move Coach Paul Henare hopes will give the No.1 side a boost.

Christmas has come again for the Breakers, this time in the form of the 26-year-old center.

Arrived just yesterday from the States, Christmas wasted no time getting on the court today preparing for his debut match with his new side this weekend against Illawarra Hawkes.

Christmas says "I pretty much met everyone today, except for DJ I've known him for a while but everyone's been open armed to me. They're happy that I'm here and I'm just happy to be here. Coming from the NBA is a big deal but I just want to come out here and play my game, I don't want to come out here and do too much. The team already have their thing going on. I just want to gel into it and contribute as much as I can."

His inclusion to the roster sees the replacement of center James Hunter who has had only nine minutes of game time this season. Henare says Christmas brings more experience to the team.

"Offensive rebounds, a target for us on the rim, he look's to have a pretty decent touch around the rim around. He's got a decently strong body, so he should be able to play through some contact and then defensively obviously helping us out on the boards and as a rim protector as well."

Breakers now fill their import quota. Christmas joins Dominican-Republic point guard Edgar Sosa and Philadelphia schoolmate and guard DJ Newbill.

Christmas says "I kept in contact with DJ and when this opportunity came up DJ and Eric Devendorf hit me up and told me about the situation. I thought it was a good fit for me. I just want to come here and have fun and enjoy NZ."

Breakers meet the Hawkes on Saturday at WIN Entertainment Centre in Wollongong.