The NZ Breakers have welcomed a new import into their midst with the Boxing Day arrival of 29-year-old American Paul Carter to the team, and the versatile 6 foot 8 inches tall Carter has wasted no time in getting on the floor and up to speed with the North Shore based club.
Carter has been brought in as an injury replacement for Corey Webster but his role with the team is all the more important given the recent injury to Tom Abercrombie, with the swingman out for a further 2 to 3 weeks with a broken hand.
It is expected that Carter will travel and suit up for the game in Sydney on December 30, but right now he is just looking to adjust to his new surroundings.
“It was a quick turnaround, it wasn’t anywhere on the radar to play in New Zealand. But Akil Mitchell is a good friend of mine, we played together last year and lately when we catch up he has been joking ‘when are you coming to New Zealand’. And I guess through some injuries in the wing position there was an opportunity and they spoke with Akil, researched and it just happened to work out.”
NZ Breakers Head Coach Paul Henare is pleased to have secured a player of Carter’s experience in such a short time frame at a difficult time of the year to recruit new players.
“Paul is a very experienced player through different experiences around the world. We will rely on this experience to slot into the group seamlessly and to be able to express himself and his skillset at the same time.
“It was also very important that we found someone that can fit into our club standards and expectations and we’re confident that Paul fits the bill there too. As with all our players we’ll expect him to fully commit to what we are trying to do defensively. However, we have lost a lot of offensive punch over the last couple of weeks so he’ll have opportunities to help us at that end too.”
Carter has that year playing professionally in France under his belt, as well as two years in the D-League before he most recently found himself on a short-term injury cover contract in Germany.
“I have been playing in Berlin, at a pretty big club. It was interesting, I was there as an injury replacement and did okay, I didn’t play as much as I would have liked but they had a great coach and good people and I had a good experience.”
Carter flew in from New Orleans where he enjoyed a couple of weeks at home before he got the call to come to New Zealand, a country that he didn’t know too much about.
“I have spoken to Akil, he loves it here and I have spoken to him and he told me great things about the team, the coaching and the environment am I getting into and things like that. As far as the country is concerned though I have just always seen beautiful things – It is kind of funny I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan so when I heard about this chance I thought ‘wow’ that is amazing – but I know this is a great country and I am just excited to be here.”
Carter knows that he will be a role player within the team, and whatever that means he needs to bring to the floor he is ready to go.
“I have an all-round game, a great IQ for the game which a lot of the guys here already have which is great. I bring good energy, length, I am coachable and will do whatever needs to be done to help the team.”