Breakers Dozen

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So just who are the SKY CITY Breakers centurions, the men who have played 100 games for the club? There are just a dozen players to have brought up a hundred appearances in a Breakers singlet, most of them, although not quite all, household names in New Zealand hoops land.

Paul Henare and Aaron Olson were the first to achieve the distinction. Both appeared in the first ever Breakers game back in October 2003 and coincidentally both played in every fixture of the first four seasons, 130 consecutive games in total.

Their 100th game was one of those less than memorable defeats out at Trusts Arena, 105-88, against Perth Wildcats in October 2006.

Henare of course is still enjoying an illustrious career with the club firstly as a player and more lately as a coach. Olson, one of my all time favourite Breakers players, announced his retirement at the end of the 2006/7 season and headed back to his native Canada.

Mika Vukona was also a member of the team that beat the Adelaide 36ers in the inaugural Breakers fixture in ’03. Back then, and again the following season, he was a development player appearing in just a handful of games. Since then, save for a couple of seasons plying his trade in Melbourne and the Gold Coast, he has been almost part of the furniture at Atlas Place. He now holds the record for the most appearances for the club (269 and counting). His 100th appearance back in January 2007 was a typical 13 points/9 rebounds effort in a 112-98 loss in Melbourne against the Tigers.

Tim Behrendorff is not a name that flows easily off the tongue and in all honesty is probably the least well remembered of this dozen. The seven-foot back up centre played a total of 118 games over 4 seasons between 2005 and 2009.

Oscar Forman, remembered for his scoring prowess from beyond the three-point arc, was the fifth player to register a century of appearances. The South Australian, who has since played continuously for the Wollongong/Illawarra Hawks franchise, brought up his ton by playing 100 straight games. That feat was achieved in the second game of the 2009/10 season against the Melbourne Tigers.

Dillon Boucher was the sixth player to raise the ton. After leaving the club at the end of the second season in 2005 the only man to have garnered more rebounds than points for the club (941 v 807) returned for a second highly successful spell in 2008. The winner of three NBL titles with the club he played his 100th game in October 2009, an overtime win against the 36ers. Typically Boucher came away that night with 4 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists a couple of steals and probably a dozen deflections and umpteen box outs.

Seventh on the list is the Breakers all time leading scorer Kirk Penney, 2517 points in 110 games for the shooting star. Penney played his 100th game against the Crocs on his home patch the North Shore Events Centre back in March 2011 shortly before going on to help the club secure the first title.

The 2011/12 season saw both the Breakers favourite Aussie CJ Bruton and Tom Abercrombie pass 100 games.

CJ did it against Adelaide in November ‘11 in a 99-90 win when Andrej Lemanis coached his 200th game for the club.

Abercrombie became the youngest Breaker to pass the milestone in March 2012 when a crowd of over 8,000 fans packed Vector Arena for the semi-final loss against the Townsville Crocodiles despite 20 points on the night from the swingman.

Centre Alex Pledger is 8th on the list, achieved in March 2013 against Cairn Taipans six weeks before the 3peat was completed. ‘Pledge’ celebrated in style having his first 20 points game for the club that night.

The third former Westlake Boys player to rack up 100 appearances, Corey Webster, did so early last season, a 85-76 home loss in round three against the Taipans. Webster scored 16 points that night and would go on to lead the Breakers scoring in a season the club secured its fourth title.

Last but not least is Cedric Jackson – three seasons completed as a Breakers player – three championships won. Already second on the Breakers all time assists list (651) and also second on the all time steals list (239) the explosive point guard is arguably the best American import the club has ever had.

He is certainly the only one to have played 100 games.

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