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NZ Breakers add guard Mitch McCarron

Mitch McCarron NZ Breakers basketball
Australian guard Mitch McCarron will link up with the NZ Breakers for two seasons. PHOTO: NZ BREAKERS

Recent Australian National Basketball League (ANBL) championship winner Mitch McCarron is joining the NZ Breakers on a two-year deal.

The 31-year-old is currently playing for the Taranaki Airs in the National Basketball League (NBL) but has spent the last three seasons in the ANBL with the Adelaide 36ers.

The 6-foot-2 Australian guard brings a wealth of ANBL experience to the Breakers, having played more than 200 games over nine seasons for the 36ers, Melbourne United and Cairns Taipans. He has also played for the Australia Boomers in 32 games in official FIBA tournaments since 2017.

Breakers head coach Mody Maor said McCarron's experience and hard-nosed attitude to winning would help the Breakers enormously as he tries to fill the enormous void left by Kiwi captain Tom Abercrombie's retirement.

"We have lost in the off-season significant players who knew what winning looks like, who knew what winning habits look like," said Maor.

"It's essential to bring into the building players who have this experience and can lead us with their words and hold other players accountable. Mitch McCarron definitely fits that role."

McCarron admitted he would contact Abercrombie, who is scheduled to have his No 10 jersey retired at the Breakers' first home game next season.

"I'm going to reach out to Tom in due time and find out how he approached things. He is a legend of the club, a legend of the league and super successful," said McCarron.

"It's not about replacing him or stepping into his shoes. I have to walk my own path and help the group differently than what Tom did, but I will get as much advice as possible from him.

"The biggest thing I've learned in my career is that teams that sacrifice continuously generally find success. I'm sure when I talk to Tom, he will talk about that. The best teams were the ones that embraced that challenge.  

"Two years ago, I was on the Adelaide team when the Breakers' flight got delayed coming back to Auckland, and that team still beat us on no sleep at Trusts Arena.

"There's something special about how the Breakers embrace adversity, and it's something I also want to embrace."

McCarron has averaged 8.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists over 245 games in the ANBL.

However, those career statistics are likely to be boosted with his on-court combination alongside the Breakers' marquee signing and All-ANBL First Team star Parker Jackson-Cartwright.

"Mitch is a championship-calibre player and belongs on winning teams. The role he will play for us will be much more similar to the role he played at Melbourne United, where he won a championship, than his time in Adelaide," Maor said.

"I can see Mitch and Parker really playing off each other."  

McCarron said combining with Jackson-Cartwright was a key reason he signed with the Breakers.

"I am excited to play alongside Parker," McCarron said. "We can both push the ball, we can both play in transition and having different kinds of attacks is going to be a good thing for the team and whoever we get on the roster.

"My game can reach a new level under Mody. Based on our discussions, he understands who I am as a player and how to get the most out of me."

McCarron is the fifth player signed to the 11-man Breakers' roster for NBL25. Alongside Jackson-Cartwright, the new-look squad includes talented Kiwi forward Sam Mennenga, NZ-born 2023 LA Lakers draft pick Mojave King and returning Australia big Dane Pineau.

Tall Blacks forward Finn Delany and Lithuanian 'Next Star' Mantas Rubstavicius are still currently contracted by the Breakers but both are expected to explore other opportunities and not return for the second year of their deals.

The Breakers also have Nelson Giants guard Alex McNaught, Franklin Bulls forward Carlin Davison and Canterbury Rams forward Max Darling signed as development players.

More signings are expected in the coming weeks, with the squad is expected to assemble for the first time in early August in Auckland.


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