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Breakers sign American point guard

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/06/2016

American point guard Ben Woodside is the latest addition to the New Zealand Breakers' squad for the next Australian National Basketball League season.

Woodside, who turns 31 on Friday, has spent much of his playing career in Europe and is the first import on the Breakers' new roster.

He replaces compatriot Cedric Jackson, who is heading to Melbourne United after winning three titles with the Auckland-based club.

Coach Paul Henare says experience was a pre-requisite when the Breakers set about recruiting a point guard.

"We need a player to lead us around the floor and make the right decisions in pressure cooker situations," he said.

Henare said Woodside, a Minnesota native and North Dakota State graduate, was a different style of player to Jackson.

"He is a very good outside shooter and very strong in pick-and-roll situations, and thrives in having good shooters around him, which we will have," he said.

"He will play the game in a different way but will have an immediate impact on the floor."

Former Tall Blacks shooting guard Kirk Penney, who is making a return to the Breakers, recommended Woodside after playing alongside him in Spain and Turkey.

"Ben is a true point guard that relishes leading the team and getting his teammates involved," Penney said.

"He plays with a lot of passion at both ends of the court. I'm pumped he's decided to come to the Breakers."

Woodside, who will be making his debut in the ANBL, returned the compliment.

"I'm absolutely thrilled and excited to team up with KP again," he said.

"He's an incredible player but an even better person and someone I've always had full respect for."

The Breakers have two positions left on their full-time roster - an import power forward and one local player.

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