2022 NZNBL preview: Hawke’s Bay Hawks

HAVING missed out on the ultimate prize by just two points, the Hawke’s Bay Hawks will be out for redemption during the 2022 New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) season. The Hawks went down to Wellington Saints 77-75 in the decider, but have remarkably not only retained the majority of their list, but deepened it with some massive recruits.


FRESH FACES: Jack Salt, Quintin Bailey, Derek Albertsen, Jack Exeter, Ezra Smiler, Jakob Gooch, Ben Adamson, Kendyl Nelson-Graham
KEY DEPARTURES: Devondrick Walker, Rhys Vague

The amount of depth on the Hawks list is insane. Though they lost their top scorer from last year in Devondrick Walker (21.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists), the rest of the side is virtually intact. Rhys Vague (12 points, seven rebounds) was the other key player to depart the club from last year, but the quality of recruits coming is remarkable. They picked up a quartet of Canterbury Rams in Jack Salt, Quintin Bailey, Derek Albertsen and Jack Exeter all came across to the Hawks, with Salt a huge recruit both physically and metaphorically.

Averaging 13.3 points and 8.7 rebounds with the Rams in his first season back in the NZNBL for seven years, Salt then got his chance back at Australian NBL level with the Bullets, and will use that experience now with Hawke’s Bay. Jakob Gooch is another talent to watch among a bunch of other recruits who provide great depth to the Hawks.


Ethan Rusbatch
Jordan Hunt
Derone Raukawa
Quintin Bailey
Derek Albertsen
Everard Bartlett
Hyrum Harris (T2)
Jack Exeter
Jarrod Kenny (T2)
Jacob Murphy
Tommy Fergusson
Jack Salt (T2)
Mike Woodbridge
Ezra Smiler
Kobe Kara
Jakob Gooch
Ben Adamson
Kendyl Nelson-Graham
Clifton Bush III


The signs look ominous for the Hawks opponents, with Salt coming into the mix alongside the likes of Derone Raukawa, Jarrod Kenny, Hyrum Harris and Jordan Hunt. The elite top-end talent is better than any other side, and when you look to the bench, to have the likes of Everard Bartlett, Bailey and Ethan Rusbatch all capable of taking over a game, it is going to take a huge effort for sides to beat the Hawke’s Bay unit.

For the Hawks, it will be about keeping the drive high and not allowing any complacency, because on paper, the side is just about as good as it gets. With continuity from last season, and reason to believe they can go one better, keep an eye on the Hawks for the NZNBL flag.


R1 vs. Bulls
R2 @ Airs
R3 @ Sharks | @ Nuggets
R4 @ Tuatara
R5 @ Rams | @ Giants
R6 vs. Tuatara
R7 vs. Sharks
R8 vs. Airs
R9 vs. Giants
R10 @ Jets
R11 vs. Nuggets
R12 @ Saints | @ Bulls
R13 vs. Saints
R14 vs. Jets
R15 vs. Rams

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments