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Breakers add three rising stars to squad

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/08/2016

New Zealand Breakers coach Paul Henare has signed three development players for the upcoming NBL season, including one 17-year-old. © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images New Zealand Breakers coach Paul Henare has signed three development players for the upcoming NBL season, including one 17-year-old. The New Zealand Breakers have picked up three development players for the upcoming NBL season.

Canterbury guard Ethan Rusbatch, Southland guard Derone Raukawa and North Harbour forward Samuel Waardenburg will all join the Auckland-based club after impressing coach Paul Henare.

Rusbatch and Raukawa, 23 and 21 respectively, have produced strong campaigns for their NZ NBL sides and were selected for the Tall Blacks' recent Olympic qualifiers.

The 17-year-old Waardenburg is a Rangitoto College student and will be limited in his NBL availability to preserve his amateur status.

Seven current Breakers have graduated through the development pathway, including all three of the club's 2015 development players.

The signings bring the Breakers' full-time roster to 10, with just one import spot left to fill.

"All three guys bring their own style and flair to the team but they have some tough work ahead," Henare said.

"Last year's D-Unit are now rostered players and they've set a new standard in terms of what it means to be part of the D-Unit."

Rusbatch said he couldn't wait for the upcoming NBL season.

"Having so many talented and established players in my position is going to be great for me, to learn from them and to compete with them," Rusbatch said.

"I'm looking forward to all the challenges ahead."

The trio will join the side for pre-season training from September.

THE BREAKERS' NEW YOUNG GUNS:

* Ethan Rusbatch, 23, 196cm, Guard, Canterbury Rams

* Derone Raukawa, 21, 181cm, Guard, Southland Sharks

* Samuel Waardenburg, 17, 208cm, Forward, North Harbour Basketball and Rangitoto College

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