South East Melbourne Phoenix have been forced to release Chima Moneke.
Deng Acuoth was signed by the Phoenix today and will fill the final local player position, which opened up after South East Melbourne was forced to release Moneke.
Moneke was added to the roster under the provision of his ability to gain Australian local player status by the beginning of preseason July 1st.
However, the Phoenix has now been advised that he does not qualify for status as a local player, forcing them to release him.
“In Chima we lost the services of a very talented player who brings enthusiasm, excitement and a relentless work ethic. So those are the traits I felt we needed to replace above any specific on-court skill sets,” head coach Simon Mitchell said.
“With the addition of Deng, I think we have covered those areas of loss really well. In speaking with several of his teammates and coaches from last year, he is held in high-esteem everyone speaks of his tremendous upside.”
South East Melbourne is working with Moneke’s team on a possible solution that could see him added as part of their training roster.
“I just hope the situation can be rectified soon and Chima gets to do his thing on an NBL floor in the near future. Until then, we will treat him as part of the team and assist in his basketball development any way we can,” Mitchell said.
Moneke most recently played with Denain in France, averaging 14.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.