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Personal reasons force Cam Oliver's stellar season in Australia to be cut short

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Cameron Oliver has been one of the NBL's most productive players. (Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Cam Oliver's stellar second season in Australia has been cut short due to complications with his wife's pregnancy.

Oliver's Australian team, Cairns Taipans, announced Sunday it has waived the former Nevada basketball star for the remainder of the season on compassionate grounds to enable him to return to the U.S. for family reasons. Oliver’s wife, Alecia, is expecting their third child, and Oliver had to return home due to complications with the pregnancy.

“My wife is going through some health complications with the pregnancy," Oliver said in a news release. "I’m left with no choice but to go back home and help my family through these crucial times, probably the next two, three months – until she actually delivers the baby. I talked to the team about it, the front office, and the staff. Everyone supports me putting my family first. I hate to leave my guys during this tough situation, it’s a real challenge for me. It’s something I have to do right now.”

Added Taipans President Troy Stone: “We completely understand why Cam has to return home and really sympathise with their situation. It’s hard for him to leave during the season and we know our fans will be disappointed, but of course, family comes first, and we can all relate to that. We hope that everything goes as smoothly as possible for Cam and Alecia over the next few months, and we can’t wait for them to return to Cairns next season with King, Ka’Mera and their new addition."

Oliver had played 24 games with Cairns Taipans this season and was averaging 17.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 1.2 assists and 0.8 steals per game. He made 49.8 percent of his shots, including 31.9 percent from three. He was making 69.2 percent of his free throws. Oliver ranked 10th in the NBL in scoring, second in rebounds and fourth in blocks.

Oliver was named the NBL's player of the week last week. The season runs through June. It was Oliver's second season with Cairns Taipans after two years in the G League. Oliver also played briefly for Ness Ziona in Israel last year. The 24-year-old Oliver remains on his two-year contract with Cairns Taipans and will return to the team for the 2021-22 NBL season, which is expected to begin in October.

Oliver played for Nevada from 2015-17, leading the Wolf Pack to a CBI title as a freshman and NCAA Tournament berth as a sophomore. The 6-foot-9 power forward entered the NBA draft after his sophomore season and went undrafted. He signed a free-agent deal with the Houston Rockets but didn't make the team out of training camp.

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