Long-serving forward Colin Sing is to leave Sheffield Sharks, dealing the club a major blow ahead of the new season.
Sing, who returned from a major shoulder injury at the back end of the last campaign, will move to Dubai to teach PE. He described his new venture as "an opportunity I can't turn down".
The towering forward, due to begin his seventh season at the Sharks, paid tribute to the club.
"I've met so many great people along this journey; great leaders, great friends and great people in general.
"I'll definitely miss the fans, they've stuck with me 100% over these years. They've been amazing"
The surprise announcement will almost definitely force head coach Atiba Lyons into seeking more new players before the beginning of the British Basketball League season at the end of this month.
Lyons confirmed last week he was considering adding to the four new arrivals at the club. Today's news might force his hand. At the time, he said:
"We'll just see how we go in the pre-season games. We have a couple of weeks yet to tinker with the team and add where we think we might need some more depth, but I'm very happy with what we have so far."
The Sharks returned to pre-season training last week and face Manchester Giants in a friendly on September 16th.