Basketball: Mody Maor promoted to NZ Breakers head coach after Dan Shamir stands down

Mody Maor has been appointed the new head coach of NZ Breakers, after Dan Shamir stepped down from the role with one year left on his contract.

An assistant under Shamir for the past three seasons, Maor has been promoted to the top job on a one-year deal.

After three years at the helm, Shamir wants to return to Israel and reunite with his extended family, after an arduous two seasons on the road.

"The reason behind me leaving comes down to my family," said Shamir. "The past two seasons living in Melbourne have taken a toll on my wife and kids. 

"It is time for me and my family to go home now, but this place will forever be part of our lives and identity."

The change comes after the Australian NBL side fell to their worst record in franchise history last season, finishing 5-23 to claim their first wooden spoon since 2005.

Shamir joined the club after several successful stints with European clubs, but has experienced major challenges during his time with the Breakers, most notably their COVID-enforced relocation to Australia during the past two seasons.

Breakers owner Matt Walsh says planning had already been in place for Maor to take over from Shamir, 47, when his contract ended.

"His passion and excitement for the game are contagious," said Walsh. "He has all the tools to be a great head coach and get us back to contending for championships."

Maor now faces the daunting task of leading the rebuild of the struggling franchise, which has fallen a long away from its championship glory years, when they won four ANBL titles between 2011-15. 

"I am well aware of the Breakers' strong legacy, and am excited and honoured to be taking over as head coach," said Maor. "I am determined to lead the club in a way that honours that legacy and be part of a new chapter in the club's rich history.

"We are coming off two difficult seasons in challenging circumstances, but what we really have now is a clean slate.

"There is a great Kiwi core out there for us to recruit and you can expect an exciting team pulling on the Breakers jersey next season.

"We have an opportunity to rebuild, remake and reinvigorate."

Captain Tom Abercrombie fully endorses Maor's elevation and the Israeli's intention to make use of homegrown talent.

"Already the conversations I've had with Mody have been about tapping into that Kiwi core and the things that make us different," he said.
"Now the borders are open, Mody wants a strong focus on Kiwi talent and, obviously, I want to help him in any way I can to re-establish that culture and identity."