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Penney notches milestone for Skycity Breakers

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Kirk Penney has played basketball for long enough for personal milestones not to feature highly in his preparation, little surprise then that others around him are making more fuss than he is about clocking up 150 games in a SKYCITY Breakers singlet this Friday night at Spark Arena.

A product of Westlake Boys High School, Penney has earned those numbers in two stints with the club, the first famously ending with the club’s first Championship in 2011.

"I didn’t know that, I did a video message for Oscar Forman this week to celebrate his 500th game, that is pretty impressive! But no, I didn’t know about that, it has gone quickly, that is amazing."

Penney quickly turns the focus to the game on Friday night and a Breakers roster currently second on the NBL ladder.

"We have a very good group and even though we have been a bit up and down the past few weeks, it has been a good time to band together and get closer as a team. I do like a nine-game winning streak, but one thing that is great about playing basketball is when you have that loss, you have to figure out how to move the pieces and get a win next time out. With us playing Adelaide over there last week and now playing them at home on Friday night, we get the chance to make some changes and get a win."

Penney says there was little talk in the locker room about win-streaks, with the club mantra of ‘one game at a time’ holding true in good and not so good times.

"If you focus on the length of a win-streak, you can get things out of focus and off track. The thing about this league is every game is competitive and you have to focus on that one game. It is difficult to keep a long win streak going, that was a good start to our year and put us in a nice position and now we have to get the win at home on Friday night."

Penney is a pure shooter, one of the best the league has seen and arguably the best New Zealand has ever produced. He is understandably not getting caught up in a couple of quiet games on the back of a difficult few weeks.

"Basketball is different to other sports like golf or rugby goal-kicking in that you have a defender in front of you. I understand it is a different mindset and equally difficult, but in terms of open looks and losing defenders, a lot of it comes down to who you are playing and the kind of looks you get."

Penney is excited about the challenge that Adelaide present on Friday night, with Joey Wright’s team always fun to watch and play against.

"Adelaide will be up and down, they have long defenders and always try and disrupt us and switch defences, very different to what a Sydney or a Brisbane might give you. They are good, last year they won the regular season and this year have pretty much the same roster with a couple of import changes and are coming off a good win against us. They are a formidable team and definitely the fastest paced team in the league, they just want to outscore and out gun you and are a fun team to play against."

Kirk Penney also played 27 games for Illawarra Hawks in the 2015/16 season, leading the Hawks to the play-offs.

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