12 Apr 2016

Penney to finish career with Breakers

10:48 am on 12 April 2016

New Zealand basketball star Kirk Penney is heading home to finish his career after signing a three-year deal with the Breakers.

Kirk Penney playing for the Illawarra Hawks last NBL season. January, 2016.

Kirk Penney playing for the Illawarra Hawks last NBL season. January, 2016. Photo: Photosport

North Shore born and raised Penney turned down offers from multiple NBL clubs to sign with the New Zealand side.

The 35-year-old Tall Black has had a 17 year career at the top level of the sport, playing professionally in the United States and Europe.

The Breakers Head Coach Paul Henare said he's pleased to have secured the signature of the former American College star.

"Kirk is one of the game's premier scorers, as was seen last season with a standout season for Illawarra where he played a crucial role in propelling the Hawks into title contention.

"He has always been a player to look after himself and it is that professional attitude and work ethic that will be of huge benefit to us on court, but also in bringing leadership qualities off court with players around him.

"What's more we have Kirk on a three-year deal that will enable him to see out his career back home and for us as a club to continue to build into the next chapter in our history."

Now a father to baby Olivia with wife Audra, Penney is happy to be returning to the Breakers and the community in which he grew up.

"My family and I are thrilled to be a part of the Breakers organization again. Good friends and wonderful people are with the club at present and I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with them. The Breakers have had such a positive impact on so many communities in New Zealand through their continued success and various initiatives.

"I look forward to being a part of the driving force that brings a wonderful brand of basketball to all supporters of the game and continue to be a part of bringing something incredibly positive into New Zealanders lives, on and off court.

"Also, some happy grandparents and family members will be stoked to spend more time with our little girl."

It is the second stint for Penney at the North Shore based club, his first four year stay back in 2007 culminated in the first Championship for the Breakers (in 2011) before he left to play in Europe.

Henare said Penney was one of their big signing targets.

"We all know of Kirk's scoring class and ability as a basketballer, but he brings so much to this group and to us as a club. I played alongside him and marvelled at what he can do with a basketball, it will be a pleasure to coach him over these next three years back where it all began on the North Shore."