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Abercrombie has NBA in his sights

Published: 8:51AM Saturday May 19, 2012 Source: Fairfax

  • Tom Abercrombie (Source: Photosport)
    Tom Abercrombie - Source: Photosport

New Zealand Breakers jumping jack Tom Abercrombie has the NBA summer leagues lined up in August if the Tall Blacks do not make the London Olympics.

Abercrombie, 24, was in Christchurch yesterday for a fundraising lunch and last night spoke at the Mid-Canterbury sportsman of the year awards in Ashburton.

He will look to pursue his NBA dream this northern summer showcasing his skills in the American summer leagues where players can get picked up by clubs for a shot at the big time.

However, Abercrombie would be more than happy pressing his claims before talent scouts at the Olympics should the New Zealand team qualify for the Games.

The squad gets together next month to prepare for the 12-nation elimination tournament in Venezuela in July when the top three sides earn spots for London where nine teams have already qualified.

"It's going to be tough for the boys but I know we are capable of competing. One of the things about Tall Black teams is that they never go away," Abercrombie said.

New Zealand must beat either rising European force Macedonia and/or athletic African champion Angola to advance to the second round where they could face the powerful Russian team.

"Its a tough draw for sure and we have to keep on winning."

Abercrombie has experience of being on the losing end against Russia before when they eliminated the Kiwis in the knockout phase at the 2010 world championship in Turkey.

"They will have all their big name players and NBA guys because everyone wants to play at the Olympics."

He hopes the Kiwis will have more bigger bodies in their ranks this time around with Alex Pledger, Rob Loe and possibly rising star Steven Adams available.

If not in England, Abercrombie expects to be in America trying to show the NBA scouts he has the game as a shooting guard-cum-small forward to get a contract.

"I think I could fill a role there as a spot shooter, who can play good defence. It's just whether somebody is looking for that type of player."

Abercrombie has a get-out clause in his Breakers contract if the NBA comes calling.

"I want to make it there and am not worried if it takes a few years. Time is on my side."

Abercrombie is still recovering from a nasty ankle sprain he sustained during the Breakers' ultimately successful push for a second successive Australian NBL title.

He is confident further rest and treatment will have him ready for the Tall Blacks' campaign.

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