The 2016 version of the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam gets underway on Saturday with the traditional mixture of young, not so young and veteran players making up the four Men’s teams.
The Women’s competition begins the following week, November 5th.
Justin Bailey will lead the Birdmen. Bailey a former NBL import is back in New Zealand and managing the SKYCITY Breakers team this season. Bailey won a championship with the Waikato Pistons in 2009 and last played professionally with Harbour Heat in 2012.
The support cast around Bailey will include BJ Anthony, Tipene Friday, Carl Buck and Jaylen Gerrand.
The Mai FM 88 Sixers will also have an American accent running the point with Kevin Braswell in charge. NBL regulars Josh Bloxham, Brook Ruscoe, Ana Haku and Nick Barrow will form the core for the Sixers.
Lindsay Tait will once again lead 68A Nelson Street (for many years the home of Youthtown before sadly closing a couple of years ago).
Tait will have the support of Dillon Boucher and a number of guards including Joe Webb, Tyler Kerlin, Marco Alexander and Dan Green.
The four team competition is rounded out by the Breakers Development squad that boasts senior players Ethan Rusbatch, Derone Raukawa, Finn Delany and Jordan Ngatai. The availability of these players will obviously be dependent on the needs of the senior team.
A strong bunch of Academy players will join the senior quartet including Isaac Letoa, Taki Fahrensohn, Brayden Inger, Dan Fotu and Sam Waardenburg.
It is also possible that the Breakers will be boosted by the inclusion of Shea Ili next month as he continues his recovery after incurring a stress fracture in his back earlier in the year.
The first game on Saturday at Atlas Place will feature Breakers Development v 68A Nelson Street at 2pm followed by The Birdmen v Mai FM 88 Sixers at 4pm. Entry is free.