Star Breakers import and prospective top NBA draft pick RJ Hampton insists his full focus is on helping the Breakers reach the NBL playoffs and not preparing for the NBA draft.
The 18-year-old is being assessed day-to-day after injuring his hip in December, with the Breakers still believing they secure an NBL play-off spot despite the odds being stacked against them.
“Everybody knows what’s next is the NBA, so I think after this season I’ll really start think about that then,” Hampton said.
If they want to keep their slim mathematical chance of making the post season alive, the Breakers will need to topple league leaders Sydney Kings this Friday in New Plymouth.
Having already lost twice this season to Sydney, the Breakers are coming off back-to-back losses on the road.
The Breakers’ other star import, Scotty Hopson, insists the belief is still there to push for a finals spot.
“We still think there is something to gain out of this season. We’re still having a play-off push. It starts with Sydney on Friday and hopefully we can take down that giant,” he said.
Hopson has been a revelation for the Breakers, averaging 18 points per game and leading the team in assists. He has also continually produced crucial moments in the clutch moments.
“I got a lot of motivation right now, man. I was down for six games through injury and that kind of derailed our franchise. I don’t think we won a game when I was out - I felt bad about that,” he said.
“I’m playing good basketball right now, but I got to keep it up. I have to play better.”
The Breakers also added 17-year-old Rosmini College student Taine Murray to their training squad. The talented guard has one appearance for the Tall Blacks and was overcome with joy after receiving a call from owner Matt Walsh.
“I didn’t expect it at all," he said. "It’s more exciting and I’m pretty lucky to be in the position I am.”