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New Zealand Breakers sign SEABL veteran

The New Zealand Breakers have just one roster spot left for the 2015/16 National Basketball League season with the announcement that guard Shane McDonald will join the club as they look to win a fifth championship in six years. The 30-year old Australian has spent most of his basketball career playing in the SEABL, and will give up his job as PE teacher and basketball coach at Maribyrnong College in Melbourne to fulfil his NBL dream: “I have followed the NBL and really admired from afar what the New Zealand Breakers have been doing," said McDonald. "It is so clear they have developed a fantastic culture - that was something that attracted me. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have gone to any other team on a similar deal but when one of the best sporting organisations over the last ten years asked me to suit up, the attraction to come and see what it is all about and what they have done to be successful was massive.” The 2005 Nova Southeastern University graduate is delighted at having earned a belated shot at proving his worth in the top League in the country. “Dean [Vickerman] contacted me about six weeks ago, with a general enquiry about playing at this level," explained McDonald. "I hadn’t thought about it to be honest, I had just turned 30, I'm settled in Melbourne and only just got married. But my wife Emily and I spoke about it and we thought if all the stars aligned it would be cool, and in the end everything worked out. We are really excited about the move.” Breakers head coach Dean Vickerman believes he has a player with the experience and temperament – not to mention the game, to do a great job for the club. “When it was understood we were unable to retain Rhys Carter I reached out to Shane, a player I had coached before and won an Australian U/20 Championship with," said Vickerman. "That title was a long time ago but I always hoped I would get the opportunity to coach Shane again because he plays the game the right way and enjoys passing the ball as much as scoring. “The qualities I was looking for in this role are a feisty defender, that has the ability to attack pressure and make great decisions, play at a high tempo, be a constant three-point threat and possess the experience to lead the team when Cedric is off court. "I believe Shane meets all these requirements and also offers a unique skill set with his ability to play the game as a left hander but shoot right handed.” McDonald has enjoyed a long career with the Nunawading Spectres in the South East Australian Basketball League, being named 2013 MVP and currently enjoying a career season averaging 18 points, 4 rebounds and a competition leading 8.6 assists per game. He has previous NBL experience with the Perth Wildcats and Singapore Slingers, as well as a brief two-game stint with the Melbourne Tigers. Vickerman believes the the New Zealand Breakers will present a different threat to the Championship-winning roster of last season. “Last year we used a rotation of three players at the point guard and shooting guard positions, this year we will have four players in Cedric [Jackson] Corey [Webster] Reuben [Te Rangi] and now Shane who all offer different strengths and will allow us great versatility in the backcourt.” McDonald will join the New Zealand Breakers in August ahead of the 2015 NBL pre-season.
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