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18 Mar 2018 18:42
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  •   Home > News > Sports

    Breakers release troubled guard Webster

    Prolific Tall Blacks guard Corey Webster is leaving the New Zealand Breakers after nine seasons of NBL service.

    Troubled Tall Blacks guard Corey Webster won't be offered a new contract by the New Zealand Breakers, ending nearly a decade of playing for the NBL club.

    Breakers general manager Dillon Boucher says he has declined a third year option on Webster's contract after a forgettable season marred by injury and a court appearance.

    Boucher says "distractions" in New Zealand have impacted on the high-scoring 28-year-old who will be better served seeking an offshore deal.

    "We think it is the right time for Corey to take on a new challenge and to assess what he wants to get out of the game," Boucher said.

    "He has had a challenging six months and has in that time struggled with his physical fitness and the distraction of off-court issues. Corey agreed that it might be the right time for him to pursue those new challenges elsewhere and see where he can go in the game."

    Webster, who joined the Breakers as a development player in 2008, responded with a Tweet on Tuesday.

    "Fresh start, new challenges and vulnerability...that's where I grow and I love it," he said.

    Webster was involved in three of the Breakers' four NBL titles.

    He missed their triumph in 2011-12, banned for the season following a drug violation.

    He apologised and was offered a three-season deal, going on to become one of the club's premier players courtesy of his outside shooting prowess.

    Webster trialled for an NBA contract in 2015, falling short before signing his latest Breakers deal.

    A late-night incident in Auckland in November resulted in his arrest.

    Banned by the Breakers for a game, Webster is set to appear in court this month facing two charges of assault and one of assault with intent to injure.

    Niggling injuries reduced Webster's output this season and he didn't return to the court after being placed on an injury waiver by the club in December.

    "There were times this season when he did not live up to our expectations as a Breaker and perhaps make the most of the opportunities that he has been presented with," Boucher said.

    "But he goes with our best wishes and our hopes that he can enjoy a successful second half to his career."

    Meanwhile, Boucher revealed six players are confirmed for next season's roster.

    Core Tall Blacks Mika Vukona, Tom Abercrombie, Kirk Penney and Alex Pledger are retained, along with rising Kiwis Finn Delany and Shea Ili.

    Boucher says keeping Tall Blacks centre Rob Loe is a priority after a solid debut season at the Breakers.

    Decisions around imports will be left until later in the off-season.


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