Breakers ready to take Corey Webster back
The NZ Breakers are on the verge of offering a career lifeline to recidivist offender Corey Webster as they round out their roster for a tilt at an Australian NBL threepeat.
The Breakers have two spots left to fill, and it's understood the plan is for those to go to Webster and last year's star import point guard Cedric Jackson.
Jackson is waiting to see if he engenders any interest from NBA teams out of his short stint in the Summer League with the San Antonio Spurs. If that doesn't lead anywhere, he's ready to re-commit to the Kiwi club.
Webster's signing has the potential to be a little more controversial. The 23-year-old is still serving a one-year ban placed on him by the Australian Sports Commission after he returned a positive drugs test during the semifinals of the inaugural title run with the Breakers.
That was his second positive drugs test inside two years and led to the Breakers terminating his contract. But Webster has stayed in touch with the club and has continued to work on his game at their practice facility. It's understood he has impressed them with his attitude and actions.
Breakers general manager Richard Clarke said: “He's still got to prove he deserves that spot. He's got a shot at it, but he needs to show us he's made the necessary changes to his lifestyle and attitude.”
But it's understood Webster is well along that track. He took a job stacking shelves at night for team owner Paul Blackwell at a supermarket, and has also been working as a landscape gardener.
“He's experienced what life is like without basketball, and that's probably a good thing,” added Clarke. “It's not a matter of being cautious, it's about having a level of comfort he's the person he's told us he now is. From the conversations we've had, he's made a lot of changes and taken on a high level of personal responsibility, but that's something we need to see for ourselves.”
Clarke said he believed Webster's repeat offending all came under the same banner. “Maybe he needed to have it all taken away to make him understand just what it was he had lost.” Webster's suspension ends on September 15, well ahead of the scheduled season start of October 5. The club hopes to confirm final roster spots by early-August at the latest.
Webster is competing with his 17-year-old brother Tai, Josh Bloxham and Jarrod Kenny for the backup guard spot, but he has the inside running.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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