13 Feb 2024

Tom Abercrombie calls time on his basketball career

11:58 am on 13 February 2024
Tom Abercrombie of the Breakers

Tom Abercrombie of the Breakers Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Abercrombie holds the record for the most Breakers appearances with 425 and is the club's leading all-time point-scorer.

He has played in all four of the Breakers title-winning seasons and is the only player to have appeared in all six Championship Finals series for the club.

Abercrombie retired from international basketball with the Tall Blacks last year.

Friday's must-win game against the Brisbane Bullets in Auckland could be Abercrombie's last in his hometown.

Such is the nature of the league ladder, there is no guarantee the Breakers will make it to post season unless they win against Brisbane - and even then they may qualify for the Top Six but have to play their remaining games away from home.

The stakes, therefore, could not be higher with a finals berth in sight, and potentially the final home game for a player who holds almost every Breakers' basketball record.

Abercrombie made his debut in 2008 and aside from being part of the four championship teams, he also was Grand Final MVP in 2011 and received All-NBL First Team honours in 2012.

The 36-year-old father of three grew up on Auckland's North Shore and went to school at nearby Westlake Boys High School which is just 3.7 kilometres away from the Breakers' training facility in Mairangi Bay.

"Playing for the Breakers has meant everything to me," says Abercrombie.

"It's been about representing a family, a country and a lot of people have put their heart and soul into this organisation."

On the court, the small forward holds multiple records, most of which will never be surpassed.

NZ Breakers captain Tom Abercrombie

Tom Abercrombie Photo: Photosport

Abercrombie is a "one club man" and holds the Breakers' records for most appearances (425), points (4434), field goals made (1536) three-pointers (568) free-throws (794) steals (302), blocks (262) and steals (302).

"Im hesitant to comment on Tom retiring because I am not ready to face that reality," said Breakers' owner Matt Walsh.

"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."

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," said Maor.

"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."

It is inevitable Abercrombie's number 10 jersey will be retired and hang in the rafters alongside his former team mates Paul Henare, Dillon Boucher and CJ Bruton.