The New Zealand Breakers' off-court problems continue to mount, with a situation on the team's flight back from Perth resulting in police waiting for Breakers player Tom Vodanovich at the airport.
On the same day as the club suspended controversial import Glen Rice Jr indefinitely after being arrested over an alleged assault with intent to injure, the Breakers confirmed to NZME that there had been an incident on the plane involving Vodanovich, though no charges were laid.
"The guys flew back on the redeye so most of our staff and players were asleep, there was an incident on the plane where Tom Vodanovich took a sleeping pill, and he had a few drinks," Breakers owner Matt Walsh told NZME.
"He doesn't really remember what happened. Police were waiting for him but he wasn't charged with anything.
"I do think this is really unfortunate because he's a little bit unlucky that he reacted this way with this sleeping pills. But he was extremely remorseful."
Vodanovich spent four years playing college basketball at James Madison, where he was suspended for two games in 2014 for an altercation with a teammate, before returning to New Zealand to play in the National Basketball League with the Southland Sharks.
After earning a development contract with the Breakers last year, he was picked up on a full-time contract this season, averaging 10.4 minutes per game in seven games.
Walsh insists the incident is out of character for the 25-year-old.
"We're going to come down hard on Tom because we expect more than that.
"One of the reasons Tom is on the team is that he's an amazing locker-room guy, a great culture guy. He's amazing at sponsor events and community events. He made a big mistake but we sat down with him today and said 'look, we support you, and will support you through this because of who you are, but with that is going to come some pretty harsh penalties'. We haven't worked through exactly what that's going to look like yet."
Despite two off-court incidents in the space of a week, Walsh is still comfortable with how the Breakers are operating.
"Of course I'm conscious of how it looks, but I know what we're doing internally, and I'm comfortable with what we're doing and the decision we're making."
Earlier today, the Breakers suspended Rice Jr, after initially planning to play him in their eventual loss last night against the Perth Wildcats.
The club were forced to stand him down for that game by the ANBL, and since, new information has come to light that has led to Rice Jr being sidelined indefinitely.
"I respect our legal process in New Zealand and firmly believe that you are innocent until proven guilty," said Walsh.
"However, regardless of the outcome of Glen's court appearance, there is no denying he has let down the club, our fans and the New Zealand public after we gave him this lifeline.
"I put structures in place, which I thought would prevent any problems happening, but I was wrong."