Warrnambool Seahawks import Aaron Harrison has been let go after just six games so the club can re-sign a favourite son.
Fellow American, Xavier Johnson-Blount, a championship winner with the Seahawks and multiple Big V All-Star, is moving back to Australia to begin his naturalisation process.
Warrnambool saw this as an opportunity to turn Johnson-Blount into a long-term local player - in a similar vein to playing-coach Tim Gainey - and thereby open up another import position on the roster.
This move would also allow the club to look at using import resources in the women's program.
Warrnambool Seahawks and Mermaids president Jacob Sobey said the "tough" decision to release the 25-year-old Harrison, originally from Georgia, Atlanta, was "not taken lightly."
"Aaron has been a great advocate for the club both on and off the court," he said.
"But we felt this was the best decision for the club's long-term future."
Sobey said Harrison was picked up by rival Big V outfit La Trobe City Energy.
"It was great Aaron could be picked up and he'll have a chance to play against us soon," he said.
Harrison averaged 18.8 points per game, along with 8.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.8 steals.
Johnson-Blount, who arrives on Thursday, averaged 30.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 steals in the 2018 Big V season.
He hopes to return for the eighth-placed Seahawks against the undefeated Shepparton Gators in Warrnambool on May 4.
"Xavier's athleticism and ability to get to the basket is just fantastic, as well the fact he's a strong shooter," Sobey said.
"And he's worked with the team before, so Tim (Gainey) and the coaching staff are really looking forward to getting him back.
"He was a great asset for us over the past three seasons."
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