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NBL legend commits to one more season with the Breakers

10 May
3 mins read
Tom Abercrombie has committed to one more season with the New Zealand Breakers.

Mody Maor describes him as “a hall of famer while he is still playing”, and today record-breaking captain Tom Abercrombie has committed to one more season with the New Zealand Breakers.
It also means a likely sellout for the Breakers’ first game of the new season because the 35-year-old will be playing his 400th game for the club against the Cairns Taipans at Spark Arena on September 30.
“If Tom was 18 today, we would be talking about him as a first-round NBA draft pick”, says Breakers Head Coach Mody Maor.
“He embodies the modern basketballer and is exactly the player everyone wants to sign.  Six foot six or seven, a long, versatile defender, a good shooter, who can do a little bit of a lot.”

400 games is just one pointer of many to illustrate how big an influence the four-time NBL champion has had on the Breakers.
He has made almost 50 more appearances than long-time captain Mika Vukona who sits in second place on 354 games for the club.
Abercrombie is the only Breaker to have played in all six of the club’s championship series appearances over the last 13 years, including being named Grand Final MVP in 2011.
“Tom deciding to play another season is a huge relief,” admits Maor.
“I did not want to face next season without having Tom in my corner.  Having him in the locker room and on the floor assures a continuation of how we do things.”

Abercrombie, who is not one for statistics, also holds several other records for the Breakers since scoring four points on his debut against the Wollongong Hawks on September 18 2008.
Entering his record 16th season with the club, he also holds the club records for most wins (226), playoff games (37), points (4319), three-pointers (351) and is just five shy of breaking Dillon Boucher’s club record 288 steals.
His ability to create turnovers was perhaps best illustrated with his game-clinching steal against the Brisbane Bullets in February to secure the Breakers’ historic playoff berth last season. 
In 2020, he became the first New Zealander and just the second NBL player in history to join the exclusive 50-40-90 club, where a player is required to shoot at least 50 per cent from the field, 40 per cent from three-point range and 90 per cent from the free-throw line throughout an entire regular season.
Despite beginning his career as an offensive weapon, Abercrombie’s defensive prowess has earned more plaudits in recent seasons. 
He finished runner-up as the NBL’s best defensive player two years ago, even though he missed the final nine games through injury and grabbed 19 defensive rebounds and 13 steals in the playoffs last season.
Mody Maor has made no secret of how much he values players with a proven ability to defend.
“Tom is the type of player who me as a coach and us as a team trust to be on the court in the most important moments next season,” he says.
“We were very clear as an organisation at the end of last season that we wanted to keep our local core.
“Securing both Tom and Will McDowell-White puts us in a great place for next season.”


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