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Shamir Steps Down, Maor Appointed Breakers Head Coach

Mody Maor will be Head Coach of the Sky Sport Breakers for the coming season with Dan Shamir stepping down from the helm after three years.

The Breakers have almost exclusively played two of the last three seasons out of Australia because of COVID.

Despite New Zealand now operating open borders, Shamir, who still had a year to run on his contract, wants to return to Israel and reunite with extended family.

Speaking from America, Breakers’ owner Matt Walsh says Shamir is not only a great coach but a friend, and he will miss him.

“Dan led us through the most difficult two years in Breakers’ history and through circumstances that no other basketball team in the world had to go through,” he said. 

“His work ethic and professionalism are a model for all, and I am very thankful for the last three years.”

Shamir says it has been a privilege coaching the Breakers and experiencing New Zealand culture and leaving is an extremely tough decision.

“The reason behind me leaving comes down to my family,” said Shamir.

“The past two seasons living in Melbourne have taken a toll on my wife and kids.” 

“It is time for me and my family to go home now, but this place will forever be part of our lives and identity.”

Walsh says planning had already been in place for Maor to take over from 47-year-old Shamir when his contract ended.

The 36-year-old will now lead the organisation’s rebuild after playing virtually the last two seasons away from home.

“Ask the players; they will tell you Mody has been the driving force behind the development of Finn Delany, Will McDowell-White, Yanni Wetzell, Ousmane Dieng, Hugo Besson and RJ Hampton,” said Walsh.

“His passion and excitement for the game are contagious.  He has all the tools to be a great head coach and get us back to contending for championships.”

Four-time NBL Champion and Breakers captain Tom Abercrombie endorses the appointment of Maor to lead the club back to the time when Australian clubs feared them.

“Already the conversations I’ve had with Mody have been about tapping into that kiwi core and the things that make us different,” he said.

“Now the borders are open, Mody wants a strong focus on kiwi talent and obviously, I want to help him in any way I can to re-establish that culture and identity.”

Maor, who has two years remaining on his existing contract, has been at the Breakers since 2019.

From now until the start of the new NBL season, his main goal is to restore kiwi pride in the Breakers team.

“I am well aware of the Breakers’ strong legacy and am excited and honoured to be taking over as Head Coach,” said Maor.

“I am determined to lead the club in a way that honours that legacy and be part of a new chapter in the club’s rich history.

“We are coming off two difficult seasons in challenging circumstances, but what we really have now is a clean slate.

“There is a great kiwi core out there for us to recruit, and you can expect an exciting team pulling on the Breakers’ jersey next season.

“We have an opportunity to rebuild, remake and reinvigorate.”   

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