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'I can't live in someone else's shoes' - new Breakers recruit unfazed by Cedric Jackson's legacy

Just as spring brings new life and new beginnings, a new season dawns for the New Zealand Breakers.

Pre-season got underway today with the team welcoming back a local legend, but also getting to know their latest import who, as the cliche goes, has big boots to fill.

Ben Woodside isn't interested in comparisons to his predecessor.

"I'm totally not about living up to someone else's reputation," he said.

The 31-year-old Minnesota native will begin the season in the shadow of Cedric Jackson - a prolific points scorer who led the Breakers to three NBL titles in his four seasons with the club.

And in a twist, Woodside's first game will be against Jackson's new team - Melbourne United.

"I can't live in someone else's shoes on the basketball floor. I've just got to play the way I play and hopefully I can help out the team and we can get the machine rolling," Woodside added.

Also helping to get the machine rolling is returning legend Kirk Penny, who has signed a three-year deal.

The 35-year-old had a hand in Woodside's signing after playing alongside him in Turkey and Spain.

"He just loves it here, it's so different to what he's used to," Penney said of his good friend. "He's left the States and gone to these different countries and played and on this occasion he's come to a country that is so familiar, so comfortable and so welcoming.

"That makes me proud as a Kiwi that he feels like that."

Penney's return is a welcome signing for his new team-mates. Last season the two-time Olympian tormented the club in his stint with the Illawarra Hawks.