Bendigo Braves axe star import

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SYMES Motors Bendigo Braves coach Ben Harvey has described the decision to sack star import Daniel Horton as the “hardest thing he’s done in basketball”.

The Braves shocked the South East Australian Basketball League yesterday by parting ways with Horton, citing personal reasons.

Horton, 28, was the Braves’ leading scorer, averaging 19 points per game, but an inability to gel with team-mates off the court appears to have cost him his contract with Bendigo.

Harvey refused to give exact reasons as to why Horton was sacked.

“It was my decision, solely,” Harvey told the Bendigo Advertiser yesterday.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve done. On court, Daniel could get the job done. Unfortunately because of some personal things we had to come to this decision.

“We have high expectations at this club and sometimes things don’t work out. The team is the most important thing in all of this.”

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When asked if Horton’s sacking had involved any illegal activities, Harvey stated: “No, definitely not.”

The timing of the sacking so late in the regular season means the Braves can’t replace Horton with another import.

“We’re in third place on the ladder and I’m more than confident we can still make the play-offs,’’ Harvey said.

“Can we still win the title without Daniel? Only time will tell.”

Horton arrived at the Braves this year with as good a basketball CV as any import the club has signed.

An All-American at high school level, Horton had a distinguished college career at the University of Michigan and had a brief stint with NBA club the Miami Heat.

He later played in Turkey and France before suffering a serious knee injury.

He joined Bendigo at the start of 2012 and was averaging 19.6 points, four assists and four rebounds per game before yesterday’s sacking.

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