Basketball Australia: Mitch Creek’s Olympic hopes in limbo after assault charge

Basketball Australia will wait until criminal proceedings for Mitch Creek’s assault allegations are completed before considering its own punishment, including his place in the Boomers Olympic squad.

The basketball world is in shock with the NBL standing down the South East Melbourne Phoenix co-captain from his club commitments after he was charged with assaulting a woman in Melbourne last November.

The former NBA star was charged on Monday with intentionally causing injury and other offences after allegedly assaulting a woman at her Melbourne home — allegations that he denies.

Basketball Australia will wait until criminal proceedings for Mitch Creek’s assault allegations are completed before considering a potential punishment. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

According to The Age, Creek’s arrest followed a four-month investigation after a woman in her 20s suffered “serious facial injuries”.

Creek’s lawyer Casey Isaacs told the paper: “The charges will be defended, but given the matter is now in court, we won’t be commenting”.

Creek is considered a possible option for the Australian Boomers at this year’s Tokyo Olympics after being named in the team’s preliminary 24-man squad.

Basketball Australia provided the NCA NewsWire with a statement on Tuesday, outlining its stance on Creek’s assault allegations.

“Basketball Australia is aware of assault charges laid against South East Melbourne Phoenix player and senior men’s national team squad member Mitch Creek by the Victorian Police,” the statement said.

“Basketball Australia takes these allegations extremely seriously.

“The Integrity Unit has conducted a preliminary investigation, and as this matter is now before the courts, Basketball Australia will await the outcome of these criminal proceedings before considering its own disciplinary hearing.”

Mitch Creek’s chances of representing Australia at the Tokyo Olympics are in doubt after he was charged with assaulting a woman in Melbourne last November.Source:News Corp Australia

Creek’s ability to be involved in a planned Boomers camp and warm-up matches in the United States prior to July’s Tokyo Olympics could be under threat if he is convicted.

The NBL doesn’t have a no-fault stand-down policy like the NRL but felt it was appropriate to make a proactive decision in conjunction with Creek and the Phoenix.

Creek will face court on April 1. He is considered one of the NBL’s MVP candidates after averaging 21.19 points, 7.25 rebounds and 3.69 assists per game.

The NBL and South East Melbourne Phoenix released a statement on Monday evening.

“The NBL and South East Melbourne Phoenix are aware that Victoria Police have laid charges against Mitch Creek in respect of alleged assault offences,” the statement read.

“The NBL and South East Melbourne Phoenix are deeply concerned by the nature of the charges against Mitch Creek and take this matter extremely seriously.

“The NBL and South East Melbourne Phoenix have held urgent discussions with the Australian Basketball Players’ Association and Basketball Australia’s Integrity Unit in respect of the allegations.

“The NBL and South East Melbourne Phoenix also understand that Mitch Creek denies each of the charges and will deal with the matter appropriately through the court process.

“As the body responsible for enforcing the national integrity framework which covers NBL players, Basketball Australia’s Integrity Unit has undertaken a preliminary investigation into the matter.

“The NBL, South East Melbourne Phoenix and Mitch Creek have all agreed that he will not train or play with the Club until further notice.

“As the matter is before the courts, the NBL and South East Melbourne Phoenix will not make any further comment for now.”

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