The Santa Barbara Breakers professional basketball team has been invited to participate in Holland’s Groninger Basketball Tournament starting on December 26. The tournament continues through December 31.
The Breakers have compiled a 23-9 record for the 2012 campaign, winning their 4th WCBL (West Coast Professional Basketball League) title over the Santa Monica Jump 120-109 in May, as well as competing in two tours to China and a three game series versus the Korean National Team.
Along with the Breakers participating in the tournament, formerly named the Haarlem Invitational Tournament, will be the Egyptian National Team, Lebanon, Bosnia, Lithuania and Groninger. Also present for the games and its festive events will be the Chicago Bulls cheerleaders, the Luvables.
Breakers coach Curt Pickering was contacted by his longtime friend Jim Parks, a co-founder and Commissioner of the WCBL, who back in 1985 recommended Pickering for his first International coaching position in Vienna, Austria. Parks,who has coached professionally in Germany, Belguim, Austria and Holland, previously coached at Groninger.
His former players now operate the Tournament and contacted Parks, asking if he knew of a team from the USA that would be interested in participating. Parks made the phone call to Pickering who immediately said yes. This was followed up by Pickering with intense, devoted hours on the phone and internet, securing comittments from players, to fill out the team roster.
Two familiar faces will wear the red, white, blue and gold for the Breakers across the pond.
Tim Taylor and Derrick O’Neil will be in their signature #8 and #22 jersey numbers respectively. The remaining players listed below have past links to the Breakers, having played on tours to China and versus Korea or participating in tryouts that Pickering has conducted in several USA states.
“It is much more difficult to build a quality roster with talent, character and chemistry during the month of December. Most high level players are already employed overseas or in the NBDL but fortunately, we have garnered a group of young men that I feel very confident about in representing the City of Santa Barbara, USA Basketball and Breaker winning tradition,” stated Pickering.
2012 Breakers European Traveling RosterTim Taylor 6’3 G Wayne St.NB China/Mexico/WCBLChase Adams 6’0 G Pittsburgh Germany/NBDL/WCBLMike Malat 6’3 G Missouri S & M NBDL/WCBLAntwi Ardene 6’4 G Montreal U. Lithuania/China/Canadian National TeamDerrick O’Neil 6’5 G/F Florida Gulf Coast China/NBDL/WCBLPerrin Johnson 6’7 G/F Louisville Qatar/China/WCBLMarquis Thomas 6’7 G/F Georgia China/VenuzuelaJapeth Aguilar 6’10 F Manilla U. NBDL/WCBL/Philippine BLShane Burrell 6’8 F Alabama A & M China/WCBLJosh Crawford 7’0 F/C Indiana State Bulgaria/WCBLHonde Brewer 7’1 C San Fran State Jordan/Egypt/WCBL