A second professional basketball player in as many days has exited Australia’s NBL because he refused to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Illawarra Hawks announced American import star Travis Trice will not return Down Under for the looming season.
Trice had signed a deal to play for the Hawks this year, but the two parties agreed to part ways in light of the player’s refusal.
The news comes a day after the New Zealand Breakers announced Tai Webster had been cut from the squad as a result of his desire to remain unvaccinated.
The NBL has not made COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory but clubs are now taking it upon themselves to ensure the safety of everyone else involved.
“We fully respect Travis’ views and freedom of choice in regards to the vaccine, but being unvaccinated was going to result in numerous challenges, especially as we are still firmly in the midst of the pandemic,” Hawks president Dorry Kordahi said.
“We wish Travis all the best, but have immediately turned our attention to a replacement. We are currently exploring a number of viable options and we hope to have some good news in the coming weeks for our members and fans.”
Trice also spoke on the news.
“Sadly, I won’t be suiting up in a Hawks uniform this season,” Trice said.
“The decision was made in the best interests of both parties, and I wish the Hawks all the best for the upcoming season.”
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