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Breakers in talks to bring next US teen sensation to NZ, says owner

After saying goodbye to American youngster RJ Hampton, the Breakers have already begun the process of trying to unearth the next teen sensation to bring down under, owner Matt Walsh says.

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Matt Walsh says that the Breakers are already after the next RJ Hampton, after the NBA prospect left the squad this week. Source: 1 NEWS

Hampton, 18, stunned experts after leaving high school, choosing to spend a season with the Breakers, rather than following the traditional path through the American college system.

Current rules state that players must spend a season playing outside of high school, before declaring for the NBA draft.

Hampton, as well as fellow teen star LaMelo Ball did just that, opting to play in a professional league abroad rather than college.

However, a hip injury has seen Hampton cut his time in New Zealand short, yesterday announcing his return to America to prepare for the NBA draft later this year.

Read more:
Highly-rated RJ Hampton quits Breakers, returns to US to prepare for NBA draft

While Hampton's stint with the Breakers might not have gone entirely to plan, owner Walsh still deems the 18-year-old's time in New Zealand a success, already beginning the process to identify and sign the next US high school star.

"It's been amazing for basketball in New Zealand," Walsh told 1 NEWS.

"It's brought a lot of interest for young people. We've seen more 12-18 year olds at our game than ever before.

"We were the first team to sign a 'next star', LaMelo followed RJ. For us to do that is exciting.

"I can tell you we're talking to a handful of other guys for next year. Whether they'll be the same calibre as RJ? I hope so.

"It's been really good."