THE upcoming National Basketball League (NBL) season is just around the corner, with the season opener slated for December 3. As the NBL Blitz pre-season campaign comes to a close, sides across the league will be finalising their preparations for their NBL22 campaigns. With that said, it is time for us to take one final look at each team, and how they are faring heading into the fast-approaching season. Next up on the agenda are the Illawarra Hawks, who will be looking to improve on their hard work last season, which saw them become the surprise packet of the competition.
Captain: Andrew Ogilvy
Coach: Brian Goorjian
Record last season: 20-16 (3rd)
The Hawks ended up being the most improved team of the NBL21 season, vastly improving on their bottom placed finish the year before. The side rallied behind star guard Harvey, who set the record for three pointers made by an individual in a single season, and stormed their way into the postseason. They were unfortunately defeated by the Perth Wildcats, but it cannot be disputed that the side impressed with their rapid rise from wooden-spooners to contenders and will be looking to carry this form into the upcoming season with a relatively similar roster of players.
Illawarra added some experienced talent in Cleveland and Rathan-Mayes, who should add some veteran leadership and IQ as they have demonstrated throughout the NBL Blitz pre-season tournament. Another exciting recruit comes in the form of Reath, who is fresh off an Olympic campaign with the Boomers that saw him leave with a bronze medal. Goorjian has shown in the last 12 months that he can get the best out of this team, and will be looking to further last year’s efforts as the club guns for their second championship.