Two-time NBL champion Tai Wesley has announced his retirement from basketball for family reasons, despite having one season left to run on his South East Melbourne Phoenix contract.
The 34-year-old was the starting power forward for the Phoenix in the expansion club's debut season and was set to be an integral of the line-up again under Simon Mitchell in 2020-21.
But spending time at home in Idaho with his wife Chyna and their three young children prompted Wesley to reconsider his plans.
"The decision wasn't one that I took lightly," he said.
"Having this time in quarantine with your family makes you realise moving across the world is not an easy thing for them.
"With this coronavirus, it just felt like the right decision to make for me to put my family first.
"I got to live my dream for nine years and play across the world, it's time to put my kids and my wife first.
"It's been a crazy ride.
"It's bittersweet that it's coming to an end."
Wesley started his NBL career with the New Zealand Breakers in 2014 and claimed a championship with the Auckland-based team in 2015.
He won a second title with Melbourne United in 2018 and was the first import signed by South East Melbourne when the club joined the NBL last year.
"He'll be sorely missed amongst the group," Phoenix coach Mitchell said.
"Not just for his personality but for his game, his leadership and the way he represents the club in the community as well, which was a huge reason why we brought him in.
"He's just one of those guys you can build a culture around, both on the floor and in the community."
Australian Associated Press