The Covid outbreak at the Sydney Kings has taken a turn the club and the NBL didn’t want.
The Sydney Kings’ Covid outbreak has spread, with multiple players and staff members now isolating following positive tests.
The Kings have suspended pre-season training, effective immediately, following a positive Covid test within the playing group.
The player, understood to be unvaccinated, was tested and immediately self-isolated once they displayed symptoms.
However, more players and staff members who were deemed close contacts have also tested positive.
The club has been contacted for comment.
Despite the setback, it’s understood officials remain confident that the Kings will be able to resume pre-season training once the impacted individuals have completed their fortnight of quarantine.
The majority of Sydney’s playing group and staff are either fully vaccinated or have had their first shot.
NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger has said the NBL won’t force players to be vaccinated but stressed there would be ramifications if a player or official opted not to be jabbed.
“At this point, we are not going to mandate vaccinations for players, coaches and staff, but we will continue to educate our people and will strongly recommend it,” Loeliger said.
“It may be that those who don’t get vaccinated won’t be able to travel between states and countries, or even enter certain venues, and therefore won’t be able to participate in some games when the season begins.
“Individuals that decide not to get vaccinated could be subjected to different rules depending on various government protocols and restrictions.”
Kings chief executive Chris Pongrass previously said the players’ health would come first, but he is confident the club can overcome this Covid hurdle and resume training before the start of the season on November 18.
“Our primary concern is for the health and wellbeing of our players, staff and their families and ensuring that we adhere to NSW Health regulations to mitigate any further risk to the wider community,” Pongrass said.
“We will continue to work with the NBL and NSW Health to ensure the health and safety of our players and staff.
“While this is another hurdle for our playing group, we are resilient and our preparations for NBL22 continue; we look forward to being back out on court in front of our fans at Qudos Bank Arena in the coming months for what will be an exciting season.”
Originally published as NBL: More positive Covid tests at the Sydney Kings