Breakers confirm new coaching team

Radio Sport, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 31 July 2019, 7:56PM
The Breakers have announced the appointment of new coach Dan Shamir along with ex-NBA guard Scotty Hopson and Zico Coronel. (Photo / Supplied)

The New Zealand Breakers will welcome NBA experience back into their squad for the upcoming Australian basketball league season, adding American Scotty Hopson to the roster.

The well-travelled swingman joins the Breakers on the next stop in his career which has so far seen him play for the Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as spend plenty of time in Europe and China.

He joins the club from Hapoel Holon in Israel, following head coach Dan Shamir to the Auckland-based club.

Having been reported to take over the lead role with the Breakers, Shamir was confirmed as Kevin Braswell's replacement on Wednesday morning.

The Auckland-based franchise will be under the microscope this season as they get American phenom RJ Hampton ready for the 2020 NBA draft and have elected to bring in a coach with experience outside of the Australian league to take the reins.

Shamir has been coaching in Europe since 2001, after serving for a year under Rick Pitino at the University of Kentucky in 1999. In that time, he established himself as one of the top coaches in Israel and was named the Israeli Premier League Coach of the Year in 2018.

The 44-year-old joins the Breakers after four years at Hapoel Holon, ending his 19-year stint in the Israeli league during which he spent time between seven teams as an assistant and head coach.

He has won three Israeli Cups as head coach, including the 2018 trophy with Hapoel Holon, and also netted two EuroLeague titles as an assistant coach with Macabi Tel Aviv (2004 and 2005).

Shamir will be tasked with turning around a Breakers team who struggled through the 2018-19 ANBL season, with a limited offensive and an inconsistent defensive structure.
He has also brought in rising New Zealand coaching star Zico Coronel as an assistant. Arguably the country's top coach, Coronel guided the unfancied Hawke's Bay Hawks through to the NZNBL Grand Final. His simplistic but effective offensive approach paid dividends for the Hawks, who ranked among the league leaders in most offensive categories.

Breakers owner Matt Walsh was delighted Shamir has accepted the position.

"Dan brings with him experience coaching at the highest levels and knowledge of best practices for top-level basketball organisations and his experience is already being felt throughout the organization."

Southland Sharks forward Tom Vodanovich has also joined the team as a fully contracted player.


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