Pistons Nab Abercrombie
Ian Anderson, Waikato Times
The Waikato Pistons have nabbed one of the country’s most promising basketballers from the clutches of his home team.
Shooting guard Tom Abercrombie showed a glimpse of his potential on Thursday night in his debut for the New Zealand Breakers and Pistons boss John Davey is confident his team will see plenty more during next year’s National Basketball League.
The 21-year-old was given his Australian NBL debut on Thursday as the Breakers dispatched the Wollongong Hawks 114-93 at North Shore in their season-opener.
In the final two minutes, Abercrombie nailed his first three-point shot and then thundered home a dunk before the buzzer to give an indication of his ability.
“We think he’s a very exciting talent,” Davey said.
“He’s a super athlete and while it’ll be just his first year in the league I think he’ll prove a major headache for other teams.”
“He’s signed for a year but we’re both hopeful that it’s the start of a long-term relationship,” Davey said.
Abercrombie, a two-time national secondary schools champion and tournament team selection at Westlake Boys’ High School, was expected to sign for the Harbour Heat after spending a year at Washington State University in the US but the Pistons swooped to get the 1.98m member of the Tall Blacks wider training squad.
New Pistons coach Dean Vickerman was a chief drawcard in attracting Abercrombie to join the defending NBL champions, so he can oversee his progress in the Australian off-season as well as in his role as assistant coach to Andrej Lemanis at the Breakers.
The Pistons will be without sharp-shooting forward Ben Hill next season, with the part-time Tall Black joining the Manawatu Jets.
However, the Pistons are set to snap up another fringe Tall Black player as they work on building a side capable of retaining their title.