NZ basketball star Corey Webster leaving Breakers for Chinese league

Kiwi basketball star Corey Webster has been released from the New Zealand Breakers this morning on a buyout deal to China.

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Webster said no one in their right mind would turn down the chance he's been given. Source: 1 NEWS

Breakers owner Matt Walsh said this morning the club received a "large financial offer" from Zhejiang Guangsha Basketball Club earlier this week and the paperwork was completed this morning.

"We didn’t anticipate an offer like this coming through, but this is a win for both the Breakers and Corey and his family," Walsh said.

The deal ends Webster's current season with the Breakers but Walsh said the 31-year-old will return next year on a new two-year contract extension.

"Obviously, we do not want Corey leaving midway through the current season when we have just got our full roster back, but that has to be balanced by what is the best decision for the club and for the player."

The announcement comes after Webster had his initial attempts to leave - which included him offering over $100,000 of his own money - were denied in September.

"I gave Corey my word after I knocked back the Darüşşafaka offer in September that I would take any new offer seriously which had a positive business outcome for the club and Corey and his family.

"Corey’s commitment to sign a two-year extension at the Breakers and keep him here until 2023 after playing in China is something we are all excited about."

Webster has played a leading role for the Breakers this season, averaging 19.6 points, 4.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game 11 matches into the NBL season. He also shot at 44 per cent from the field.

The Tall Blacks guard thanked Walsh for letting him explore new adventures.

"I thank Matt for his professionalism in assisting me to accept this life-changing opportunity,” said Webster.

"It’s important that Breakers fans know that I’m not turning my back on the club, I am just setting my family up for the future, and I have every intention of being back as soon as this short-term contract ends."

Tall Blacks guard Ethan Rusbatch has been signed as Webster's replacement after initially joining the club in pre-season as a nominated replacement player for Tom Abercrombie.