Maor: New Import Has A Special Level of Intensity
A Power Forward who has had stints at the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz is the first import to be confirmed by the New Zealand Breakers for the upcoming NBL24 season.
Zylan Cheatham arrives in Auckland next month with Euroleague experience after a season playing for Bayern Munich in Germany’s Bundesliga earlier this year.
In his six Euroleague appearances in 2023, he made a significant impact off the bench averaging 11.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in just 21.4 minutes of court time.
The 27-year-old scored a season-high 20 points and eight rebounds against Real Madrid in April.
Head Coach Mody Maor say Cheatham exemplifies the numerous qualities he wants in a Breakers import.
“It is very fitting that Zylan is our first import signed for the upcoming season because he plays with a special level of intensity and effort,” says Head Coach Mody Maor.
“What makes Zylan special is that those traits come together with elite athleticism, high-level court vision and the ability to play both on the perimeter and in the paint.
It’s Cheatham’s defensive qualities which are also attractive to Maor.
Two months ago, the American achieved a career-high five steals for Bayern against Oldenburg in a game where he also had 12 points, four rebounds and three assists.
“I’m sure we have signed another fan favourite in Zylan, and I’m looking forward to working alongside him as we both share the same collective goal in our desire to win,” says Maor.
Cheatham is the eighth player confirmed on Mody Maor’s roster for NBL24 joining Tom Abercrombie, Finn Delany, Will McDowell-White, Izayah Le’afa, Cam Gliddon, Dan Fotu, Mangok Mathiang and Next Star Mantas Rubštavi?ius.
There are 11 players in an NBL roster, with each team allowed a maximum of three imports.
A NBL Next Star has a special exemption to sit outside the 11 senior professionals.
The Breakers have two import positions to complete their roster for the new season which starts against the Cairns Taipans at Spark Arena on September 30.