Vodanovich speaks out after incident

Tom Vodanovich. Photo: Getty Images
Tom Vodanovich. Photo: Getty Images
New Zealand Breakers player Tom Vodanovich says alcohol and a sleeping pill left him loud and intoxicated on a long haul flight, but didn't think his behaviour warranted police intervention.

Returning to New Zealand from Perth on Sunday, the Breakers team caught an overnight flight which ended with police waiting for Vodanovich at Auckland Airport.

Vodanovich told NZME that, while he can't remember much of the incident, his behaviour was a direct result of an unexpected reaction to the combination of drugs in his system.

"I'd had a few beers in the lounge before getting on the plane and then … I wanted to have a good sleep since we were landing at six in the morning and took a sleeping pill and they didn't work well together."

When pressed on what kind of behavior may have prompted police involvement, all Vodanovich could do was speculate.

"I'm not too sure … just I think being loud on the plane and obviously showing signs of intoxication. But, you know, the combo of a few beers and a sleeping pill can … I guess, have that effect on someone."

The 25-year-old forward said that he'd taken sleeping pills plenty of times before but had never combined them with alcohol, so the reaction it caused was unexpected.

Still, Vodanovich was surprised to find an uninvited welcome party waiting for him on arrival in Auckland.

"It wasn't that big a deal. Obviously I apologise for my actions on the plane but … I never thought that there was going to be anything too serious that went down once the police were there, and that's what it was – they let me go on my merry way."

Despite Breakers owner Matt Walsh saying he would "come down hard" on Vodanovich, the player is yet to be informed of any team sanctions.

"We'll get to that as it comes I guess, I'm sure there's a meeting or two to be had."

News of the Vodanovich incident came the same day the club suspended Glen Rice Jr, after initially planning to play him in their eventual loss Sunday night against the Perth Wildcats.

The club were forced to stand him down for that game by the ANBL, and since, new information has come to light that has led to Rice Jr being sidelined indefinitely.

"I respect our legal process in New Zealand and firmly believe that you are innocent until proven guilty," said Walsh.

"However, regardless of the outcome of Glen's court appearance, there is no denying he has let down the club, our fans and the New Zealand public after we gave him this lifeline.

"I put structures in place, which I thought would prevent any problems happening, but I was wrong."

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