New Zealand Breakers coach Dan Shamir is pleased with the development of RJ Hampton.
The 18-year-old Hampton arrived in the NBL via the Next Stars initiative and he delivered his best performance in a Breakers singlet during their 93-85 win over Cairns Taipans in Auckland on Thursday.
The American racked up 18 points, including four three-pointers from six attempts, to help his side to a much-needed second win of the season.
"I just feel like every time down the floor I'm trying my hardest to be better defensively," Hampton said.
"As long as you play hard good things will happen. I think offensive-wise [it] will take care of itself."
Those three-pointers were just some of the key contributions from Hampton as he also filled the stats sheet with a few rebounds and steals.
"He's making big plays and it's a huge thing for our team and a lot of fun for me to watch," Shamir said.
The Breakers will look ahead to a meeting with Perth Wildcats in a home-away- from-home game in Invercargill on Sunday.
They will be sweating on the fitness of guard Scotty Hopson who went down with a knee injury in the second quarter during the win over the Taipans.
Shamir said there was no immediate diagnosis available but the Breakers are juggling a range of ailments to key personnel, including Rob Loe and Finn Delany, and don't need another addition to the injury list.
The loss to the Breakers meant the Taipans fell to 2-5 and they will get a decent rest before hosting Illawarra Hawks in Cairns on November 9.