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Chappell signed for two years

Published: 8:09AM Thursday February 05, 2004

The NZ Breakers have signed superstar import Mike Chappell for the next two seasons.

Chappell has been a stunning success for the debut Kiwi franchise in the ANBL in 2003/2004.

Since joining the Breakers at the end of November, Chappell has averaged 22.8 points per game - the second-highest individual mark in the league.

Last Wednesday night in Christchurch, Chappell exploded for 44 points in the memorable 104-97 win over the Perth Wildcats to register the highest individual game tally by an NBL player this season.

He capped a fantastic week by winning the Round 18 Player of the Week award after averaging 32 points over two games.

The 2.03m swingman was recruited by the Breakers to bolster their offensive power and has met those requirements in scintillating style.

The 26-year-old is a sweet outside shooter but can also cause headaches for opposing players by beating them off the dribble and driving to the hoop.

He's also been responsible for some of the most spectacular and thunderous dunks in the 2003/2004 NBL.

"I'm very excited about the deal," Chappell said.

"I think this club has a really bright future and I'm very pleased to be a part of that."

"I've felt a lot of excitement from the public, the fans, about what the Breakers can do this season and for years to come," Chappell said.

Chappell said he was looking forward to making New Zealand his home for the next few years.

"I've always considered it an honour to get paid for playing the sport you love and to be able to do that in a place your feel very comfortable about is just a massive bonus."

Breakers head coach Frank Arsego described the signing as "a win-win situation for the club and for Mike."

"It's fantastic news to be able to sign a player of Mike's calibre and a reflection on how far the club's moved in its first season."

"I think it's a mark of the professionalism of the management group and also the direction the team has taken on the floor," Arsego said.

"Mike's had a good insight into the future of the Breakers and wants to be a big part of it."

"He's a quality player, a quality person and a great role model for all players to aspire to."

Harvey Norman NZ Breakers general manager Peter Chapman said Chappell had made a significant contribution to the club in his first season.

"In Mike Chappell, we possess a quality athlete who has already developed a reputation for hard work both on and off the court," Chapman said.

"It's players of the calibre of Mike Chappell that will secure the future of the Breakers organization."

Chappell's agent Bernie Lee of United Sports and Entertainment Group (USEG) said he, USEG president Merle Scott and Chappell would like to greatly thank Peter Chapman and the Breakers organization for their honesty and professional manner.

"From USEG's perspective, we can say without a shadow of a doubt that you have secured not only an extremely talented basketball player, but an even better person for the next two seasons," Lee said.

"We know that with the job security and direction that this deal provides Mike that he will put all of his efforts to not only making the Breakers one of the best in the NBL, but making himself a positive fixture in the North Shore and Auckland communities for years to come."

"We look forward to the success that this deal will bring for both Mike, and very importantly, the Harvey Norman NZ Breakers," Lee said.

Chappell has had previous stints in the NBL with the Wollongong Hawks and Canberra Cannons after a stellar US college career at Michigan State University.

He was part of the Michigan State team which won the NCAA title in 2000 and made the Final Four the following year.