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'He is here to learn' – New Breakers coach eager to work with US wunderkind RJ Hampton

New Breakers coach Dan Shamir outlined today his excitement at working with teen sensation RJ Hampton, with the pair combining at the Auckland club for this season.

Arguably one of the most exciting talents in the American basketball system, Hampton stunned many by opting to play for the Breakers this season rather than play a season in college.

The 18-year old will most likely play the one season with the Breakers, before he becomes eligible for the NBA's draft after one season out of high school.

Speaking to 1 NEWS this afternoon, Shamir was asked about the prospect of combining with Hampton, audiences all over the world eager to see if the 18-year-old is worth the hype.

"We will control the circus," Shamir said.

"It's a great thing for us, this publicity, this interest - everybody is asking the question about RJ Hampton.

"RJ is a great talent, and he has made an amazing decision coming here. Hopefully we will help him and he will help us."

Shamir, though, also urged patience from fans and commentators, with the 18-year old about to get his first taste of playing against men after dominating the junior ranks.

"RJ is coming from high school into a very tough competition - a great league which is loaded with talent, is very physical - and he will need to learn a lot," Shamir said. 

"He is here to learn a lot. He is here to make this jump. Hopefully, it will be a good experience for him, and for us.

"Hopefully we make it work."

Hampton will be in line for his first Breakers and NBL appearance when their season begins against the Sydney Kings on October 18.

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The 18-year-old turned down the chance to play at an American university to head to NZ. Source: 1 NEWS


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