12 Jul 2017

Breakers add size with new signing

7:17 am on 12 July 2017

The Breakers have bolstered their big man stocks, adding Southland Sharks' forward James Hunter.

James Hunter

James Hunter playing for the Southland Sharks Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 25-year-old played for the Sharks in the last New Zealand NBL season and earned selection for the New Zealand Select's recent tour of China.

Breakers coach Paul Henare says he will complement their existing big-man rotation off the bench.

"We have been on the lookout for another player to join our bigs, and our preference was always for a Kiwi to fill that role and James fits the bill," he said.

"While he is still learning and developing as a player, he knows his game well by now and understands his role on a team. He will give us hustle and size off the bench this season, can score in a number of different ways and will give us commitment and presence on the boards."

Hunter, who has spent time playing in Spain and Australia said the approach from the Breakers was a shock initially.

"I spent the season with (assistant coach Judd Flavell) Judd and then wasn't sure what I was going to do this season but then earned my spot with New Zealand Select and now this opportunity has come along," Hunter said from his home in Australia.

"The Aussie NBL was a goal of mine, I have been working with my agent to make it happen but I wasn't thinking Breakers, but one thing has led to another and here we are today."

While Hunter lives in Australia, he spent time in New Zealand growing up and his father, Todd Hunter, a New Zealand music icon, best known as a member of 1970's band Dragon.


Dragon in 1978: L-R Kerry Jacobson, Robert Taylor, Marc Hunter, Todd Hunter, Paul Hewson Photo: Supplied

Hunter will join the team for pre-season training in August and brings to eight the full-time rostered players at the club, with just three to sign - and with the club having the option of up to three imports it is likely these spots will not be confirmed until at least the end of July.

Breakers 2017/18 Roster:

Alex Pledger, centre; Rob Loe, centre; James Hunter, forward; Mika Vukona, forward; Finn Delany, forward; Tom Abercrombie, swingman; Kirk Penney, guard; Shea Ili, guard.