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Breakers complete roster with last import signing

The New Zealand Breakers today announced the final piece of their 2016/17 roster jigsaw with the signing of American/Panamanian Akil Mitchell. The 206cm (6’9”) tall 24 year old is a native of Charlotte North Carolina and comes to the Breakers following a stellar College career at Virginia, working with respected Head Coach and former North Harbour player and coach Tony Bennett, a two time winner of the prestigious Henry Iba Award for the nation's top coach as voted by the USBWA. Mitchell played a key role at Virginia and helped them to regular season and ACC Tournament Championships in 2014, in the process being named to the ACC All-Defensive team and second All ACC Tournament Team. Breakers Head Coach Paul Henare likes what the scouting reports say and is even more convinced knowing that Mitchell has worked so closely with Bennett. “Akil had a four-year career at Virginia and has two years’ experience playing professionally. His time under Tony Bennett - who has a great connection with New Zealand, would’ve prepared him well for a long and successful career. One of the things that impressed me most was his willingness to learn and do whatever it takes for the team to win. “Through watching tape and talking to our US scout Jonathan Givony, I knew we were getting someone that can guard 1-5 if needed which gives us some great flexibility when it comes to our defence. Offensively he will bring a great energy and with his athleticism, will be a crowd favourite I’m sure.” Undrafted in 2014, Mitchell has since spent time with the Houston Rockets (NBA Summer League), Rio Grande Valley Vipers (NBA Development League), the Brooklyn Nets (2015 NBA Summer League) before heading to France with Olympique Antibes for the 2015/16 season. In 49 games for the Vipers he averaged 9.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 steal per game. Akin Mitchell said he was "super excited" to be in New Zealand and playing in the NBL. “This is a good league with a lot of good players coming through. It is a good stepping stone for me in my career and a great opportunity to win some games. From what I have heard it is a great country and I am looking forward to it." “We were just in a room with all the championship trophies, I know this is a family orientated programme from ownership down, it is about family. I am looking forward to being a part of that, a team that wants to win and expects to win but is based on those great values.” The entire roster begins training from Thursday at Atlas Place, with the first chance for fans to see the team in action coming during the pre-season series against Brisbane Bullets in Tauranga (September 13), Napier (September 15) and Invercargill (September 17). The season gets underway with a clash against Melbourne United featuring Cedric Jackson and Tai Wesley on October 7 at Vector Arena, Auckland, NZ. CLICK HERE for a Virginia University profile on Akil Mitchell Akil Mitchell Bio Born: June 26, 1992 (age 24) Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina Nationality: American / Panamanian Height: 6’ 9” (2.06 m) Weight: 230 lb (104 kg) Career information High school: Charlotte Christian School, (Charlotte, North Carolina) College: Virginia (2010–2014) Playing career 2014–2015: Rio Grande Valley Vipers 2015–2016: Olympique Antibes Career highlights and awards ACC All-Defensive team (2014)   College Career by the numbers
Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2010–11 Virginia 29 1 15.1 .338 .125 .517 3.0 .8 .6 .2 2.4
2011–12 Virginia 32 15 22.0 .505 .000 .509 4.4 .8 .7 .3 4.1
2012–13 Virginia 35 35 30.5 .545 .000 .693 8.9 1.5 1.3 .4 13.1
2013–14 Virginia 37 36 25.7 .561 .000 .427 7.0 1.2 .8 .6 6.8
Career 133 87 23.8 .519 .090 .570 6.0 1.1 .8 .4 6.9
  SKYCITY Breakers 2016/17 Roster Ben Woodside, USA, Point Guard, 1.80m (5ft 11in) 84kg Shea Ili, Point Guard, NZL, 1.82m (6ft) 85kg Corey Webster, Guard, NZL, 1.87m (6ft 2in) 86kg Kirk Penney, Guard, NZL, 1.95m (6ft 5in) 99kg Tom Abercrombie, NZL, Swingman, 1.98m (6ft 6in) 94 kg Jordan Ngatai, NZL, Swingman, 1.95m (6ft 5in) 105kg Mika Vukona, NZL, Forward, 1.98m (6ft 6in) 105kg Finn Delany, NZL, Forward, 2.0m (6ft 7in) 102 kg Rob Loe, NZL, Forward, 2.10m (6ft 11in) 111kg Akil Mitchell USA, Forward, 2.06m (6ft 9in) Alex Pledger, NZL, Centre, 2.13 m (7ft) 111kg04kg Development players Ethan Rusbatch, Canterbury Rams (NBL), Guard, NZL, 196cm, 23 years; Derone Raukawa, Southland Sharks (NBL), Guard, NZL, 181cm, 21 years; Samuel Waardenburg, North Harbour Basketball/Rangitoto College, Forward, NZL, 208cm, 17 years; Paul Henare, NZL, Head Coach Judd Flavell, NZL, Assistant Coach Michael Fitchett, NZL, Assistant Coach   Breakers Pre-Season Tour v Brisbane Bullets 13 September, Tauranga ASB Arena (Truman Lane) Tipoff 7:00pm. Tickets available from Ticketek www.ticketek.co.nz and Baycourt.                 15 September, Napier Pettigrew Green Arena, Taradale Tip off 7pm Tickets available via Ticketek (check www.ticketek.co.nz for details). Sales include corporate tables and premium hosted seating along with general admission tickets. 17 September, Invercargill ILT Stadium Southland Surrey Park Sports Centre, Invercargill Tip off 2pm Tickets available from Ticket Direct. Ticket prices - Adult $25, Child $15, Family pass (2 adults & 2 kids) $70                  
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