New Zealand Basketball legend Kirk Penney has announced his retirement from professional basketball on Thursday.
The 37-year-old Penney is hoping to conclude his illustrious career with his second NBL Championship, as the Breakers gear up for a semi-final clash with Melbourne United on March 3.
There are no shortage of accolades for Penney during his NBL career. He was an NBL Champion with the Breakers in 2011, and an NBL MVP in 2009. Penny was also the NBL scoring champ in 2008, 2009 and 2011. He totaled 3750 points with a career average of 20.3 points per game during his time in the NBL.
Penney also made a name for himself overseas, spending time with four NBA teams (Minnesota Timberwolves, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers) as well as playing in the NBA’s developmental league.
Stints in Spain, Turkey and Israel, among other countries, were also included in Penney’s storied career.
He returned to New Zealand in 2016, signing a three-year deal with the Breakers.
“Playing basketball has been a big part of my life and retiring in New Zealand with the Breakers means a lot to me,” Penney said in a statement.
“I want to thank Paul and Liz Blackwell and their lovely family for being wonderful friends and inspiring me to come home when I was playing abroad. To be a part of the Breakers culture and the growth of basketball in New Zealand.
“I want to thank Paul Henare and Dillon Boucher for letting me run full circle to have a second stint with the Breakers and finish my race where it all started,” said Penney.
Breakers General Manager Dillon Boucher, who also played with Penney during his career, had some complimentary comments following the announcement:
“Kirk has had a fabulous career not only for the SKYCITY Breakers but also throughout Europe, flirting with and playing in the NBA, and of course enjoyed a stellar college career at Wisconsin.
“I am glad I got to play with him and then got to recruit him back to finish his career with us. On behalf of the club I would like to thank Kirk for bringing his talents back to New Zealand and I am glad he got to finish his wonderful career playing in the country where it all started,” said Boucher.
Kirk Penney’s full retirement announcement can be found HERE.
The press release from the New Zealand Breakers can be read HERE.