New import Charles Jackson is out to add some hustle to the New Zealand Breakers.
But the 22-year-old American centre also wants to slot in where he’s needed in the NBL champions’ largely settled roster.
“I’m going will be active on the boards, be a good teammate, just hustle and be there and do whatever they ask me,” he replied, when asked what he hoped to bring to the Breakers.
“They have a lot of returners, so I’m just going to play my role, whatever they tell me to do, so I can fit in.”
The 2.08m Jackson arrived in Auckland on Wednesday and the Breakers will be his first professional basketball assignment.
“They attracted me in how they are together as a family and how hard they play,” he said.
“And just people telling how New Zealand is really nice – I had to be part of it.”
Jackson declared early for the NBA draft earlier this year after a junior year at Tennessee Tech that included an impressive 18 double-doubles in points and rebounds in 30 games.
He then played in the NBA summer league for the Philadelphia 76ers.
He replaces Ekene Ibekwe, who nailed the buzzer-beating basket that secured the Breakers’ grand-final series victory over Cairns in March and is now with Melbourne United.
The Breakers’ other import is last season’s finals MVP, point guard Cedric Jackson.
Like his namesake, the new recruit is also know as CJ, but he’s happy to yield in terms of moniker.
“I’m not going to take anybody else’s, especially the greats,” he said.
“Whatever they pick for me, I’m happy to have.”
Coach Dean Vickerman said Jackson had shown he was an excellent rebounder at both ends of the floor.
“There’s a desire and hustle that we see as well,” Vickerman said.
“He’s more than happy to dive on the floor and do some intangible things.”