High-flying import Durrell Summers has turned his back on the Wollongong Hawks a week out from the NBL season.
Despite signing a contract with the Hawks for the 2013-14 NBL season, Summers approached management earlier this week and requested a more lucrative deal.
The Hawks were not in a position to offer more money and had been up front with the former Michigan State University swingman about the club’s budget restraints since day one.
Summers asked to be released on Wednesday morning and flew home to the USA today.
‘‘The last thing we want is a player who doesn’t want to be here, whatever the reason,’’ Wollongong coach Gordie McLeod said.
‘‘It’s not good for the team and it’s not good for the player.’’
After carefully scrutinising several import candidates for months, the Hawks were hoping they had found a keeper in the athletic Summers.
He left his mark in two trials against Sydney last weekend, averaging 27 points and showing glimpses of his jumping ability.
It is understood his impressive performances against the Kings convinced Summers to ask for more money.
They will be his only two games in Wollongong colours.
The Hawks now appear certain to have just one import - guard Rotnei Clarke - when they take on the New Zealand Breakers in the season-opener next Thursday.
McLeod and his coaching staff have started searching for Summers’ replacement.