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NBL set to reach 99% vaccination rate before season tip-off

NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger has revealed 99% of the league's players have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

With the season opener still seven weeks away, scheduled for Dec. 3, Loeliger says there's been a strong reaction to an education campaign aimed at clubs and their playing rosters.

"The really pleasing element is that 99% of our players are already either completely vaccinated or had their first dose," Loeliger said on Tuesday.

"It's fantastic that they've taken such a proactive response to being prepared for the season.

"We've ensured that we've delivered a really extensive education program for clubs and players to ensure that they are aware of the implications of not being vaccinated, both from a health perspective but also from a practical perspective and what that could mean in terms of crossing between state borders or international borders.

"And what it could mean in terms of potentially not being permitted access to venues as well."

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Loeliger: NBL is a proven, genuine NBA pathway

NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger says the league has cemented itself as a consistent pathway for players to reach the NBA.

NBL competition owner and executive chairman Larry Kestelman was proud of the position taken by players, which he said showed care for the community.

The NBA rate is about 95%, including players who have had one vaccination.

NBL clubs have taken a firm stance on vaccinations with the New Zealand Breakers and Tai Webster parting ways when the Kiwi international refused any vaccination.

Import guard Travis Trice, who spent time with Cairns and Brisbane before playing in the NBA's G-League and Europe, had signed with the Illawarra in July for this coming season.

But the Hawks said they couldn't carry a player who wasn't vaccinated as he wouldn't be able to freely travel between states or to New Zealand.

"It's an outcome that I think every sport can be proud, of any business can be proud of," Kestelman said on Tuesday.

"I'm proud of the outcome that we've been able to achieve and the 99 per cent is just amazing and I'm confident we'll get the season up and running with that not being an issue. "