The Hawks basketball team's new Australian import is on his way home to Melbourne and plans are under way on how best to ensure a new American signing returns to Los Angeles as soon as possible from Napier.
Another US import forward has been asked not to board his flight from Alabama on Saturday, according to Taylor Corporation Hawks general manager Amy Price, amid news the National Basketball League (NBL) tip-off early next month has been postponed.
A potentially modified competition in May or June has been mooted.
"It's his decision [to go back] but it's important for us to make sure that he had all of the information," says Price of the Aussie guard whose wife is across the ditch so he felt it was a priority to be back with her.
He had arrived in Napier before the self-isolation protocol kicked in last week and was training under the tutelage of new coach Daniel Nelson, of Dublin, Ireland.
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With the Los Angeles player, she says the franchise has been working around the clock to find a safe passage of travel that will meet government requirements and also ensure everyone involved in the operation is protected.
With the risks in taking domestic flights, a more practical option appears to be transporting him in a vehicle to Auckland — or any other port — where he can catch a flight.
"That would be the best-case scenario but we'll have to make sure that, like I say, will be safe for everybody," she says, emphasising it is hard to put a time on his departure but a concerted effort is under way to make it possible on Friday.
The decision, she says, is out of the franchise's hands. The LA player's "very much up in the air right now" so she isn't sure what his intentions are yet. The import is in touch with his partner and their child in the US.
"All I can do is find out everything from the Government, the ministries, the travel agents and also from the player on what he wants to do."
Price says they have cancelled the flight of the Alabama big man.
"He will stay where he is," she says. "We have been in contact with him so, like I say, they're all very disappointed and want to play because it's part of their life but worldwide all of these have been cancelled. It is what it is and we just have to deal with it as it comes."
She reiterates the welfare of the players is vital.
With the pandemic escalating, Price says, the measures are necessary, albeit a huge disappointment to many.
"This is the livelihood of a lot of players so we need to make sure we're looking after them the best we can."
Last season's captain, Jarrod Kenny, who was attending a wedding in Washington DC this week, has arrived in Auckland where he is self-isolating.
The Tall Blacks point guard — who was part of the Cairns Taipans campaign in the 2019-20 Australia National Basketball League (NBL) — had boarded a flight from Australia to the US.
"He's a Hawke's Bay boy at heart and he still wants to come down here to work on something good towards the NBL and the Hawks."
Price says it's a difficult time for everyone and they are feeling the ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic but the franchise isn't "unique in that situation".
"The support that we've had from our sponsors and our community has been fantastic so we just want to make sure we're doing right by everybody and that the future of the Hawks is still promising," she says.
The NZ NBL is working with broadcast partners Sky Sport, it's eight franchise teams and marquee stakeholders on the prospects of a modified competition.
However, it'll all be subject to government advice or regulations while the NBL board assesses its options.
"This decision takes into account the livelihoods of our people. We have a couple of hundred people, including our players, who derive an income through participating or working in the NBL, this is their occupation and we are very mindful of that," says NBL general manager Justin Nelson.
"We are dealing with an unprecedented moment in our lives and, while it comes with a level of uncertainty, the NBL men's board is working diligently to ensure the health and sustainability of the teams, the integrity of the competition and the well being of players, coaches and employees is at the forefront of every decision."
The board has cancelled its Pre-season Slam scheduled for April 4-5.
The NBL women's board also is pursuing a similar pathway for the national women's competition which was scheduled to tip-off on April 29.
The season-opening tournament in Dunedin, from April 30 to May 2, has been cancelled for the NBL Women and the D-League.
A decision on the 3x3 National Cup, scheduled for late May at ILT Stadium Southland, is pending.