Basketball: Star guard Will McDowell-White re-signs with NZ Breakers despite lucrative ANBL offers

NZ Breakers have fought off stiff competition from rival Australian NBL clubs to re-sign star guard Will McDowell-White to a two-year deal.

McDowell-White, 24, was chased by several other teams in the league, but instead, the off-contract Australian opted against returning home.

His two-year extension includes a second-year player option, with the deal proving the Breakers' standing in the ANBL according to head coach Mody Maor.

"Keeping Will in a Breakers shirt for another couple of seasons was our biggest goal this off-season," he said. "He was a scorching-hot commodity in the open market, with several suitors and many great teams in the league willing to fork out a lot of cash for Will's services.

"However, the Breakers have been instrumental in turning him into the player he has become. I had my fingers crossed he would come back.

"I think it sends an unambiguous message to every good, young emerging player in the NBL that the Breakers is the place to be if you want to improve, grow, and reach your goals.

"I can understand the complexity of an Australian leaving his country and moving to New Zealand. It makes sense to stay close to home, where you feel comfortable, but there's added value coming to the Breakers.

"You might pay the price of leaving your home and travelling across the ditch, but you are rewarded by playing in the best environment in the league, where your game grows."

McDowell-White joined the then-bottom-of-the-table Breakers in 2021, before becoming an integral member of the team that fell agonisingly short of the title in a five-game Grand Final series defeat to Sydney Kings in March.

He is the fifth Breakers player - after Izayah Le'Afa, Tom Vodanovich, Cameron Gliddon and Dan Fotu - to confirm for next season.

A sixth is expected to be revealed later this week, with the club also in advanced talks to bring in another NBA-bound Next Star sensation.