Omari Spellman, a key player in last season’s Korean professional basketball and East Asian Super League (EASL) championships, has been dismissed from Anyang after a poor season.
“We have terminated the contract in consultation with Spellman,” Chung said on social media on Wednesday, adding, “We will announce the replacement foreign player as soon as it is decided.”
“We ask for your support for the future career of Spellman, who debuted in the KBL in the 2021-2022 season and helped us win the (regular) season and EASL championship,” the organization wrote.
After struggling with his offseason weight, Spellman suffered a shin injury before the season opener and didn’t return until the 28th of last month.
The team was eager to have him back, but he lost five straight.
In those five games, Spellman averaged just 8 points and 5.4 rebounds. Spellman’s performance and focus, especially on the offensive end of the floor, showed a significant decline, leading to Chung’s decision to send him down.
With Spellman’s replacement, foreigner Duvan Maxwell, the team showed solid organization in its opening 13 games, going 9-4 and climbing to second place.
However, they have since lost seven straight games and are now tied for fifth place with Ulsan Hyundai Mobis.
Maxwell, who trusted Spellman and refused to accompany him, switched uniforms and is continuing to play professional basketball this season with Daegu Korea Gas Corporation.
After falling to the bottom of the standings with a 2-12 record, the team has moved up one spot to ninth place with two wins in four games since Maxwell’s arrival.
Spellman, a former member of the 2018 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men’s basketball championship team at Villanova University in the U.S., and former member of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Golden State Warriors, joined Jung Kwan-jang (then KGC Ginseng) in August 2021.
Combining strength and athleticism with an accurate outside shot, Spellman quickly established himself as the mainstay of the team, averaging 20.2 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 36.5 percent shooting from three-point range in 43 regular-season games in his debut season.
In the 2022-2023 season, his numbers dropped slightly to 19.9 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 35.9 percent three-point shooting in 51 games, but he played in all 11 games of the best-of-four playoffs (PO) and the championship game to help the team win the title.
In particular, Spellman, who averaged 18.9 points and 8.9 rebounds in the seven games of the championship, helped Jung Kwanjang defeat Seoul SK by matching up on offense against opposing star Jamil Warney.
Spellman was also named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) after leading Chung Kwanjang to victory in the inaugural EASL, a competition between East Asian clubs that was held in March.
In a group stage game against San Miguel Biermann (Philippines), he exploded for 53 points on a whopping 3-for-12 shooting performance. 먹튀검증