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Breakers name development players

Published: 1:09PM Tuesday June 22, 2010 Source: ONE Sport

The Breakers have named BJ Anthony and Josh Bloxham as the club's development players for the 2010-11 ANBL season.

With Anthony and Bloxham confirmed as Development Players, 10 of the 12 Breakers roster spots have now been confirmed - with 9 of the positions being filled by New Zealanders, the most in the club's history.

Versatile forward Anthony and point guard Bloxham have been strong performers for Harbour Heat and Nelson Giants respectively in the NZ NBL and now will have the chance to press for a place in the Breakers ANBL roster.

Anthony, 21, is a previous member of the Breakers development academy, and also joined the Breakers squad for the 2009-10 pre-season tour, playing games against Athletes in Action in Auckland, Rotorua, Napier and Porirua.

Anthony's performances on that tour prompted his inclusion in the Tall Blacks for the international season, and laid the foundation for his elevation to a development squad position.

Bloxham, 20, is also familiar to the Breakers set up, having previously been invited to join the squad for a week in the 2008 season as part of the club's apprentice player programme.

Bloxham was a part of the Junior Tall Blacks at the FIBA Under 19 World Championships in Auckland in 2009, where he was under the guidance of Breakers assistant coach Judd Flavell. Flavell is also very familiar with Anthony, as head coach of the Breakers Academy and now also the Harbour Heat.

"It is exciting for the Breakers to have good young New Zealand talent such as Josh and BJ coming through as Development Players" said Flavell, who has the responsibility of identifying the Breakers development players for head coach Andrej Lemanis.

"We have had our eye on both of these guys for a number of years and it is great that they now have the opportunity to join the club and show us what they can do."

"To have BJ come through as another graduate of the Development Academy is also very pleasing, and shows the value of what we have been trying to achieve with that programme. Corey was the first graduate to make the step up, I think BJ will be the next of a number of Academy players to be challenging for Breakers places in the future."

Anthony and Bloxham will be hoping to follow the success of Tom Abercrombie, Corey Webster and Alex Pledger, who have all made the transition from development squad to full roster players in the past 2 seasons.

"The opportunity is there for them" said General Manager Richard Clarke. "We think both Josh and BJ have the talent to be Breakers players, and are really looking forward to having them in our environment and seeing how they grow over the coming season".

As nominated Development Players, Anthony and Bloxham are able to suit up and be on the bench for all 14 Breakers home games, and are eligible to play up to seven of the team's away games as part of the ANBL's development player rules.

Bloxham and Anthony will join the Breakers squad officially on July 12, when the squad assembles for a 2 week pre-season camp prior to the Tall Blacks international campaign, and Lemanis and CJ Bruton joining the Boomers for their own World Championship preparation.

The squad will reassemble in September following the World Championships to begin the build up for the 2010-11 Australian NBL season, which for the Breakers will commence on Saturday October 16 in Sydney.