Illawarra Hawks

The Illawarra Hawks are an Australian professional basketball team based in Wollongong, New South Wales. The Hawks compete in the National Basketball League (NBL) and play their home games at WIN Entertainment Centre, known colloquially as "The Sandpit".[1] The Hawks are the only remaining NBL team to have competed in every season since the league's inception in 1979. The team won their first and so far only NBL Championship in 2001 and finished as runners-up in 2005, 2010 and 2017.

Illawarra Hawks
2019–20 Illawarra Hawks season
Illawarra Hawks logo
LeaguesNBL
Founded1979
HistoryIllawarra Hawks
1979–1998, 2015–present
Wollongong Hawks
1998–2015
ArenaWIN Entertainment Centre
LocationWollongong, New South Wales
Team colorsRed, black, white
              
General managerMat Campbell
Head coachMatt Flinn
Team captainDavid Andersen
Todd Blanchfield
OwnershipNBL
Championships1 (2001)
Retired numbers5 (4, 5, 12, 32, 33)
WebsiteHawks.com.au

History

The Illawarra Hawks began as a team in the New South Wales Men's Division 1 championship[2] before joining the National Basketball League (NBL) for its inaugural season in 1979. The Hawks played out of Beaton Park Stadium, commonly known as "The Snakepit". In 1981, import Mike Jones was named NBL Most Valuable Player. In 1987, the Hawks had their best season to date, finishing in third place with a 20–6 record. In 1998, the team was renamed the Wollongong Hawks and moved into WIN Entertainment Centre.

The 2000/01 season marked history for the Hawks as they won their maiden NBL Championship. Prior to the start of the season, coach Brendan Joyce changed almost half his roster, adding Charles Thomas, Damon Lowery, Grant Kruger, Matt Shanahan and Axel Dench. After finishing the regular season in fourth with a club-best 21 wins from 28 games, Wollongong upset Perth in the first round of the post-season before conquering Adelaide when Lowery sunk three free throws with no time on the clock in game three of the semi-final series.[3] The Hawks went on to beat Townsville 2–1 in the grand final to capture the team's only title.[4]

The Hawks returned to the NBL Grand Final in 2004/05, where they lost to the Sydney Kings.

In February 2009, captain Mat Campbell started the "Save the Hawks" campaign after the ownership group declared the team would not be able to join revamped league in 2009/10 on financial grounds. Campbell and his small team reached their goal, thanks to the commitment of the Illawarra community, naming rights sponsor ahm Health Insurance, and a bank guarantee provided by Indian mining magnate Mr. Arun Jagatramka from Gujarat NRE. A not-for-profit community-based company formed as Wollongong Hawks Basketball Limited was established to operate the Hawks into the future.

In 2009/10, they made their third appearance in the grand final series, this time coming up short to the Perth Wildcats. In 2010/11, import Gary Ervin was named MVP of the league, becoming the first Hawk to win the award since Mike Jones in 1981. In 2013/14, import Rotnei Clarke was named MVP of the league, becoming the third Hawk to win the award.

In July 2014, a new era was ushered in by the Hawks after Telecommunications entrepreneur James Spenceley was successful in his bid to become the organisation's new owner.[5] However, following a dismal 2014/15 season, the organisation was dealt a substantial off-court blow with Wollongong Coal withdrawing their major sponsorship 1½ years into a five-year contract. The Hawks subsequently decided to place themselves into Voluntary Administration on 2 March 2015.[6][7] On 25 March 2015, the Hawks secured Multi Civil and Rail as their major sponsor, as the company committed to a one-year deal.[8]

On 22 June 2015, the organisation announced that the team would revert to its original name, the Illawarra Hawks, to better reflect not only the city of Wollongong, but also the surrounding area including the city of Shellharbour, the town of Kiama and the Wingecarribee Shire.[9][10]

Following long-time coach Gordie McLeod's departure, Rob Beveridge was signed as head coach for the 2015/16 season. He nabbed the trio of New Zealand sharp shooter Kirk Penney, big man AJ Ogilvy, and US point guard Kevin Lisch. The trio were dubbed "the three-headed monster",[11] but they were unsuccessful in leading the Hawks to a championship, falling short in the semi-finals. Lisch was named MVP of the league, becoming the fourth Hawk to win the award.

With Lisch and Penney departing after one season, the Hawks reacquired the serves of Rotnei Clarke for the 2016/17 season. He helped them reach the NBL Grand Final for the first time since 2010, where they were defeated 3–0 by the Perth Wildcats.

On June 17, 2019, high school phenom LaMelo Ball announced on ESPN's The Jump that he will sign with the Illawarra Hawks.[12][13] Ball became the second high school phenom to enter the NBL's Next Stars program for the 2019–20 NBL season, with R. J. Hampton of the New Zealand Breakers being the first. The pair played against each other on October 24, 2019, with the game between the Hawks and the New Zealand Breakers becoming the most watched game in NBL history with nearly two million views globally on Facebook.[14]

Name, logo and uniforms

The team's colours are red and white. The logo consists of a red hawk with smaller text "Illawarra" centered above the larger text of "Hawks". The Hawk is holding a basketball in its talons. Predominately red uniforms are used for home games, and predominately white uniforms for away games.

Home arenas

The Illawarra Hawks play their home games at WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong. WIN Entertainment Centre opened in September 1998 with a concert by Bob Dylan and Patti Smith. It holds a capacity of 6,000 seats when in full basketball format. The Illawarra Hawks are the only full-time tenants at the arena. The Hawks have been playing at the arena since the 1998–99 NBL season.

Prior to this season, the Hawks played out of the 2,000 seat Beaton Park Stadium (also known as the Illawarra Basketball Stadium) for twenty seasons starting from the club's inception in 1979. One story that evolved around the NBL during the 1980s was that the Illawarra Steelers rugby league team would sit behind the opposition bench during Hawks home games at Beaton Park in a bid to intimidate the opposing team. The Hawks continue to use the stadium as a training facility and also play some pre-season games there.

The Hawks record home attendance of 5,839 was set on 18 February 2005 against the Sydney Kings at the WIN Entertainment Centre during Round 21 of the 2004–05 NBL season.

Players

Retired jerseys

Illawarra Hawks retired numbers
No. Player Position Seasons
4 Chuck Harmison F/C 1988–1996
5 Gordie McLeod G 1979–1982, 1984–1988
12 Glen Saville G/F 1995–2007, 2008–2013
32 Mat Campbell G/F 1996–2012
33 Melvin Thomas F 1992–1995, 1999–2003

Source: Retired Numbers

Current roster

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Illawarra Hawks roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht. Wt.
G 1   Ball, LaMelo   (NS) 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 82 kg (181 lb)
G 10   Glover, Angus 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 87 kg (192 lb)
F/C 17   Froling, Sam 2.12 m (6 ft 11 in) 104 kg (229 lb)
G/F 21   Blanchfield, Todd (C) 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) 94 kg (207 lb)
G 41   Naar, Emmett 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 88 kg (194 lb)
G 44   Dech, Sunday 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in) 93 kg (205 lb)
Head coach
  •   Matt Flinn
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Development player
  • (I) Import player
  • (NS) Next Star player
  •   Injured

Updated: 12 March 2020

Notable players

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Coaches

There have been ten different head coaches for the Hawks during their history. Charlie Ammit was the first coach of the Hawks to take the team to a finals series when his side finished fourth in the regular season with a 13-11 record. Brendan Joyce was the first coach to both win the Championship (in 2000–01) and claim runners-up (in 2004–05). He was also the first coach to claim runners-up in the regular season (in 2003–04). Both Joyce (2004–05) and Gordie McLeod (2009–10) have the unfortunate honour of claiming the runners-up prize in both the regular season and finals series in the same year. Eric Cooks became the first captain of the club (1999–00) to also become a coach (2006–2009). McLeod is the only other captain (1980–1982 and 1984–1988) to have accomplished this when took over from Cooks in 2009.

Season by season

Season Division League Regular Season Post-Season Head Coach Captain Club MVP
Position Played Wins Losses Win %
Illawarra Hawks
1979 1 NBL 8th 18 5 13 .278 Did Not Qualify Joe Farrugia Bob Kubbinga Not awarded
1980 1 NBL 6th 22 13 9 .591 Did Not Qualify Dr. Adrian Hurley Gordie McLeod Not awarded
1981 1 NBL 8th 22 9 13 .409 Did Not Qualify Joe Farrugia Gordie McLeod Not awarded
1982 1 NBL 9th 26 11 15 .423 Did Not Qualify Tom Pottenger Gordie McLeod Not awarded
1983 1 NBL 14th 22 4 18 .182 Did Not Qualify Charlie Ammit Mike Jones Not awarded
1984 1 NBL 4th 24 13 11 .542 Lost in Elimination-Finals to Newcastle Falcons, 108–101 Charlie Ammit Gordie McLeod Not awarded
1985 1 NBL 5th 26 10 16 .385 Did Not Qualify Ted Weston Gordie McLeod Not awarded
1986 1 NBL 5th 26 15 11 .577 Lost in Semi-Finals to Adelaide 36ers, 116–92 Dave Lindstrom Gordie McLeod Not awarded
1987 1 NBL 3rd 26 20 6 .769 Lost in Semi-Finals to Brisbane Bullets, 2–1 (series) Dave Lindstrom Gordie McLeod Not awarded
1988 1 NBL 7th 24 11 13 .458 Did Not Qualify Dave Lindstrom Gordie McLeod Not awarded
1989 1 NBL 11th 24 7 17 .292 Did Not Qualify Dave Lindstrom Chuck Harmison Norman Taylor
1990 1 NBL 8th 26 13 13 .500 Did Not Qualify Dave Lindstrom Chuck Harmison Norman Taylor
1991 1 NBL 13th 26 6 20 .231 Did Not Qualify Dave Lindstrom Chuck Harmison Norman Taylor
1992 1 NBL 5th 24 13 11 .542 Lost in Quarter-Finals to North Melbourne Giants, 2–0 (series) Dave Lindstrom Chuck Harmison Doug Overton
1993 1 NBL 6th 26 15 11 .577 Lost in Quarter-Finals to Melbourne Tigers, 2–0 (series) Alan Black Chuck Harmison Melvin Thomas
1994 1 NBL 8th 26 13 13 .500 Lost in Quarter-Finals to Melbourne Tigers, 2–0 (series) Alan Black Chuck Harmison Melvin Thomas
1995 1 NBL 7th 26 14 12 .538 Lost in Quarter-Finals to South East Melbourne Magic, 2–1 (series) Alan Black Chuck Harmison Melvin Thomas
1996 1 NBL 10th 26 9 17 .346 Did Not Qualify Brendan Joyce Chuck Harmison Terry Johnson
1997 1 NBL 11th 30 7 23 .233 Did Not Qualify Brendan Joyce Matt Zauner Clayton Ritter
Wollongong Hawks
1998 1 NBL 6th 30 14 16 .467 Lost in Quarter-Finals to Perth Wildcats, 2–0 (series) Brendan Joyce Clayton Ritter Clayton Ritter
1998–99 1 NBL 4th 26 16 10 .615 Lost in Semi-Finals to Adelaide 36ers, 2–0 (series) Brendan Joyce Clayton Ritter C. J. Bruton
1999–00 1 NBL 8th 28 11 17 .393 Did Not Qualify Brendan Joyce Eric Cooks Glen Saville
Melvin Thomas
2000–01 1 NBL 4th 28 21 7 .750 Champions in Final against Townsville Crocodiles, 2–1 (series) Brendan Joyce Mat Campbell
Glen Saville
Glen Saville
2001–02 1 NBL 4th 30 16 14 .533 Lost in Quarter-Finals to Adelaide 36ers, 2–0 (series) Brendan Joyce Mat Campbell
Glen Saville
Glen Saville
2002–03 1 NBL 4th 30 18 12 .600 Lost in Semi-Finals to Perth Wildcats, 2–0 (series) Brendan Joyce Mat Campbell
Glen Saville
Glen Saville
2003–04 1 NBL 2nd 33 25 8 .758 Lost in Semi-Finals to West Sydney Razorbacks, 2–0 (series) Brendan Joyce Mat Campbell Glen Saville
2004–05 1 NBL 2nd 32 20 12 .625 Runners-Up in Final against Sydney Kings, 3–0 (series) Brendan Joyce Mat Campbell Glen Saville
2005–06 1 NBL 3rd 32 19 13 .594 Lost in Elimination-Finals to Perth Wildcats, 121–101 Brendan Joyce Rotating Captaincy Cortez Groves
2006–07 1 NBL 10th 33 11 22 .333 Did Not Qualify Brendan Joyce
Eric Cooks
Glen Saville Adam Ballinger
2007–08 1 NBL 11th 30 9 21 .300 Did Not Qualify Eric Cooks Mat Campbell Kavossy Franklin
2008–09 1 NBL 7th 30 11 19 .367 Did Not Qualify Eric Cooks Mat Campbell Glen Saville
2009–10 1 NBL 2nd 28 16 12 .571 Runners-Up in Final against Perth Wildcats, 2–1 (series) Gordie McLeod Mat Campbell Larry Davidson
2010–11 1 NBL 5th 28 15 13 .536 Did Not Qualify Gordie McLeod Mat Campbell Gary Ervin
2011–12 1 NBL 8th 28 9 19 .321 Did Not Qualify Gordie McLeod Mat Campbell Oscar Forman
2012–13 1 NBL 3rd 28 13 15 .464 Lost in Semi-Finals to Perth Wildcats, 2–0 (series) Gordie McLeod Oscar Forman Adris Deleon
2013–14 1 NBL 4th 28 13 15 .464 Lost in Semi-Finals to Perth Wildcats, 2–0 (series) Gordie McLeod Oscar Forman Rotnei Clarke
2014–15 1 NBL 8th 28 6 22 .214 Did Not Qualify Gordie McLeod Oscar Forman Tim Coenraad
Illawarra Hawks
2015–16 1 NBL 3rd 28 17 11 .607 Lost in Semi-Finals to Perth Wildcats, 2–0 (series) Rob Beveridge Oscar Forman Kevin Lisch
2016–17 1 NBL 4th 28 15 13 .536 Runners-Up in Final against Perth Wildcats, 3–0 (series) Rob Beveridge Oscar Forman Rotnei Clarke
2017–18 1 NBL 5th 28 12 16 .429 Did Not Qualify Rob Beveridge Kevin White Demitrius Conger
2018–19 1 NBL 7th 28 12 16 .429 Did Not Qualify Rob Beveridge Kevin White Brian Conklin
2019–20 1 NBL 9th 28 5 23 .179 Did Not Qualify Matt Flinn David Andersen
Todd Blanchfield
TBD

Source:[1]

Trophies and awards

Trophies

Championships (1): 2001
Grand Final Appearances (4): 2001, 2005, 2010, 2017
Finals Appearances (20): 1984, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1998–99, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2009–10, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2015–16, 2016–17

Awards

Source: NBL AWARD WINNERS

Records and statistics

All-time records
Most games 527 Glen Saville[15]
Most points 6865 Glen Saville
Most rebounds 4041 Glen Saville
Most assists 1847 Glen Saville
Most steals 776 Glen Saville
Most blocks 423 Glen Saville
Most field goals 2511 Glen Saville
Most 3-pointers 1049 Mat Campbell
Most free throws 1163 Glen Saville
Game records
Most points in a game 54 Norman Taylor, 18 May 1990
Most 3-pointers made in a game 10 Charles Thomas, 29 December 2001
Most assists in a game 18 Gordie McLeod, twice
Most blocks in a game 7 3 players
Most steals in a game 9 Elliot Hatcher, 13 March 1998
Most rebounds in a game 23 Ray Borner, 9 May 1987
Source: andthefoul.net

References

  1. ^ a b "Season by Season". HawksHistory.com.au. Archived from the original on 6 August 2010. Playing Venue: Wollongong / WIN Entertainment Centre - The Sandpit
  2. ^ "FLASHBACK 4: August, 1977, ABM". botinagy.com. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  3. ^ Barrow, Tim (24 February 2016). "Lowery believes in Hawks' title destiny". illawarramercury.com.au. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  4. ^ "2000/01 - Wollongong Hawks : NBL Champions". hawkshistory.com.au. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Hawks under new Ownership". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Hawks Announcement". Archived from the original on 12 April 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  7. ^ Wollongong Hawks Announcement
  8. ^ Wollongong Hawks land new sponsor
  9. ^ Hawks revert to original Illawarra moniker
  10. ^ "We're the Illawarra Hawks and we're flying to the top #FlyYouHawks". Archived from the original on 22 June 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  11. ^ Illawarra Hawks on how they got their wings back
  12. ^ https://twitter.com/espn/status/1140707084868210695
  13. ^ "Illawarra Hawks Sign Lamelo Ball". Illawarra Hawks. 17 June 2019. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  14. ^ "New Zealand v Illawarra Most Watched Game In NBL History". NBL.com.au. 25 October 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  15. ^ Glen Saville announces his retirement from the National Basketball League

External links