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Breakers Plagued By Injuries as Basketball Season Winds Down

Coach Curt Pickering, hoping to preserve the team's perfect record, is on the lookout for replacements.

The Santa Barbara Breakers are coming down the stretch of their season but are forced to ride it out M*A*S*H style. Like the TV sitcom, the Breakers are nursing wounds as they enter the final week and a half and looking for player replacements because of injuries sustained on and off the court.

The injury bug began April 18 when Jerry Dupree, the most celebrated star, tore the meniscus in his left knee during a Breakers practice. Dupree is due for surgery next week. He was followed by Tyler Newton, who suffered a bruised arch in his left foot. Newton, who was averaging 17 points and almost nine rebounds per game, was put in a “boot” to secure limited weight on the foot, which will require three to four weeks of no basketball activity.

The next casualty was Sheldon Bailey, a 6-foot-7, 240-pound forward, who tweaked his left knee coming off a layup in the Breakers’ 125-122 squeaker-win over the High Desert Rattlers on May 30. Bailey has a slight tear of the meniscus, which will require surgery and puts an end to his season.

The Breaker injuries weren’t limited to on-court action. Adam Zahn, the newly acquired 6-foot-8 forward who tattooed the Hollywood Shooting Stars for 38 points in his third game as a Breaker, was in a bicycle accident and is on crutches. Reports indicate he should be ready for the WCBL Playoff Championship Games, to be in Santa Barbara on June 20-21.

Jeff McMillian, a leading rebounder for the Breakers and in the WCBL, was forced to return to his home in New York City because of family matters.

The circumstances have forced Coach Curt Pickering to travel Highways 101 and 405 searching for replacements. “Their is an abundance of talented players in the Los Angeles area. I am confident that we will locate and sign talented, key individuals who will fit into our team chemistry, even this late in the season,” Pickering said. “We don’t need starting players who require to touch the ball on each offensive possession. We are looking for guys who play at both ends of the floor, put team first and recognize that success has already been established this season (the Breakers are 15-0) and that abilities that compliment our current eight players will better add to the goal of winning the West Coast Pro Basketball League for 2008.”

For more information about the Breakers and the WCBL Playoff Championship Games, click here or call 805.685.5600.

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