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Ngatai goes full-time with Breakers

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/08/2016

Jordan Ngatai © Getty Images Jordan Ngatai Jordan Ngatai has earned himself a full-time contract with the Breakers for the 2016-17 Australian National Basketball League season.

The 23-year-old, who has spent the past two years as a development player with the club, has signed a one-year deal which fills the last local spot on coach Paul Henare's roster.

The contract caps off a good off-season for Ngatai who was part of the Tall Blacks team that competed in the Olympic qualifying tournament in the Philippines and then played a leading role with the New Zealand Select team on their tour of China.

"When I got the call up for the Tall Blacks I thought it was a chance for me to make a statement to Pauli that I could do a job for the Breakers as well," said Ngatai.

"I have hopefully shown with the Tall Blacks and in my career to date that I can back up Tommy (Abercrombie) and Kirk (Penney) in the three position, but I must show that I am ready to play when needed in whatever role the coaches want me to play."

Henare has been impressed by Ngatai's continued progress and also highlighted his work ethic as a factor in the decision to offer him the full-time deal.

"Being a development player offers no guarantees of progression," said Henare. "That is earned by the player through their on and off-court presence.

"[Jordan] has made some great improvements physically over that time and the on-court work that he has done led to an outstanding New Zealand NBL, subsequent selection to the Tall Blacks and then he performed well in the recent New Zealand Select team tour to China."

Ngatai's signing brings to 10 the total number of players on the full-time roster, leaving just the one import spot to be filled and three development player slots.

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