Hawke's Bay kids shoot hoops with the best as the Breakers and Bullets bounce into town

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Tom Abercrombie of the Breakers (left), Napier mayor Bill Dalton,  Melika Samia of Napier Intermediate School and Jermaine Beal and Adam Gibson of the Brisbane Bullets watch Nastajia Gibbins shoot some hoops.
Tom Abercrombie of the Breakers (left), Napier mayor Bill Dalton, Melika Samia of Napier Intermediate School and Jermaine Beal and Adam Gibson of the Brisbane Bullets watch Nastajia Gibbins shoot some hoops.

Hawke's Bay kids were bouncing balls and shooting hoops with basketball's elite yesterday.

The Breakers arrived in the region on Wednesday and Pettigrew Green Arena general manager Dan Rodden said it was a very successful trip.

The team did two coaching sessions on Wednesday followed by a coach development session with the public that evening.

The theme for the session was how to be an elite athlete and they focused on what a coach looked for in elite athletes and what it took to coach them. The panel consisted of all three coaches from both the Breakers and Brisbane Bullets.

Yesterday they did another coaching session in Taradale followed by the NBL pre-season game against the Brisbane Bullets.

"We have had a really strong turnout from the community in all the events, it has been great to see," Mr Rodden said.

A mayoral reception also took place yesterday morning with Napier mayor Bill Dalton, the two teams and two lucky school children from Tamatea Primary School and Napier Intermediate School.

Mr Dalton said it was fantastic to have both teams present at the breakfast and the kids were able to engage with the players while learning some new tricks.

"They were a couple of really good players, I was very pleased they did not ask me to join in when they started shooting hoops."

Mr Dalton said what amazed him the most was the height of the players.

"Our chief executive Wayne Jack is considered tall but he looked like a runt next to them, it was crazy."

He said the trip by the two teams was great for Napier and great for basketball.

Mr Rodden said it was the second time the Breakers had been in Hawke's Bay but it was the first time they had played an NBL game here.

"It is pretty significant for Hawke's Bay and I wanted to make sure they did not do a flying visit but one that involved the community in all areas."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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