Friday, March 07, 2008

Drew Nicholas Released by Turkish Club

As mentioned in a post here last week, Drew Nicholas (1999-2003) had, along with three other American players, refused to travel to Serbia for a Euroleague Top 16 game in Belgrade, due to security warnings from the American Embassy. This week, Efes Pilsen responded by releasing Nicholas. Here is most of the Euroleague press release (linked above), explaining the situation:
Efes Pilsen of Istanbul, Turkey has de-registered two players from its Euroleague roster and released both following their refusal to travel with the team to Top 16, Game 3 in Belgrade, Serbia a week ago. Efes on Wednesday officially de-registered the team's top scorer, shooting guard Drew Nicholas, and backup playmaker Rashad Wright. A third player, center Loren Woods, is expected to follow suit shortly. A fourth who also skipped the game in Belgrade, power forward Andre Hutson, was reinstated by the team over the weekend. All four players cited personal security concerns last week for not traveling to Serbia after communication they received from the United States embassy there contradicted guarantees of security from the Turkish embassy in Belgrade as well as city authorities and the host club, Partizan Belgrade. Three other United States citizens with Efes, guard Scoonie Penn, forward Kenny Gregory and head coach David Blatt, made the trip and participated in the game, which was held without incident. Nicholas has averaged 16.5 points and 2.9 assists in 14 Euroleague Basketball games this season.

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