Tom Abercrombie to retire from Breakers

Tom Abercrombie won four championships with the NZ Breakers. Photo: Getty Images
Tom Abercrombie won four championships with the NZ Breakers. Photo: Getty Images
Since making his debut in 2008, Tom Abercrombie has been a pillar of the New Zealand Breakers.

In a career spanning 16 years, he's has seen it all; four championship banners raised, changes in ownership, struggles through a pandemic and, in the last couple of seasons, a resurgence.

But all good things must come to an end.

The Breakers have announced the 36-year-old will retire from all basketball at the end of the current NBL season, hanging up his singlet after more than 400 appearances.

Abercrombie is the only player to have played in all six of the club’s championship series appearances, winning grand final MVP in 2011.

As it stands, he holds the Breakers’ records for most appearances (425), points (4434), field goals made (1536), three-pointers (568), free-throws (794), blocks (262) and steals (302).

“I’m hesitant to comment on Tom retiring because I am not ready to face that reality,’”  Breakers’ owner Matt Walsh says.

“For almost 20 years Tom has led the Breakers on and off the court and embodied what it means to be a Breaker.

“I am personally very grateful for Tom’s partnership for the last six years and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds for him.”

The Breakers must win Friday night’s game against the Bullets at Spark Arena in Auckland - and no one has had more success at the venue than the team's captain.

Earlier this season, head coach Mody Maor said he was dreading the day that Abercrombie did not put on the Breakers’ uniform anymore.

Now it appears, that day has come.

“The things Tom brings to a team, a club, a locker room and to the floor are exceptional,” Maor said. 

“Tom Abercrombie is everything you want an athlete to be, from positional size, to toughness, to athleticism, to shooting to IQ to leadership. He is literally the best captain I have ever been around.

“We are losing a player who is a connection with the Breakers of today and the legacy of the Breakers past.”

Abercrombie will undoubtedly see his No 10 jersey hanging in the rafters one day alongside those of former teammates Paul Henare, Dillon Boucher and CJ Bruton.

Friday night’s game at Spark will be an opportunity to see a future Hall of Famer, playing in the flesh, Walsh said. 

“On behalf of all of Breaker Nation, thank you, Tom. I look forward to raising number 10 in the rafters next season.”