|Arena||WIN Entertainment Centre|
|Location||Wollongong, New South Wales|
|Team colors||Red, black, white|
|General manager||Mat Campbell|
|Head coach||Matt Flinn|
|Team captain||Kevin White|
|Retired numbers||5 (4, 5, 12, 32, 33)|
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".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.
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.
Wollongong, informally referred to as "The Gong", is a seaside city located in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia. Wollongong lies on the narrow coastal strip between the Illawarra Escarpment and the Pacific Ocean, 68 kilometres (51 miles) south of central Sydney. Wollongong had an estimated urban population of 299,203 at June 2017, making it the third-largest city in New South Wales after Sydney and Newcastle, and the tenth-largest city in Australia. The city's current Lord Mayor is Gordon Bradbery AM who was elected in 2018.
New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.
The Illawarra Hawks began as a team in the New South Wales Men's Division 1 championshipbefore 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 National Basketball League (NBL) is a men's professional basketball league in Oceania; currently composed of 9 teams, 8 in Australia and 1 in New Zealand. It is the premier professional men's basketball league in Australia and New Zealand.
The 1979 NBL season was the inaugural season of the National Basketball League (NBL). The regular season began on 24 February and ended on 3 June. The participants in the league's very first Grand Final, which took place on 10 June, were decided via by the tie-breaking system. The championship was decided by a sudden death Grand Final between first and second – there were no semi-finals. St Kilda finished the regular season on top with 15 wins but Nunawading and Canberra were tied in second with 13 wins apiece, with Canberra advancing via the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Beaton Park Stadium is an Australian basketball centre in Gwynneville, New South Wales. It was the home of National Basketball League side Illawarra Hawks between 1979 until 1998.
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.The Hawks went on to beat Townsville 2–1 in the grand final to capture the team's only title.
Brendan Joyce is the former head coach of the Australian women's national basketball team (Opals). Joyce is a former professional basketball player and head coach of the National Basketball League (Australasia) the Wollongong Hawks and the Gold Coast Blaze.
The Hawks returned to the NBL Grand Final in 2004/05, where they lost to the Sydney Kings. 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.
The Sydney Kings are an Australian men’s professional basketball team competing in the National Basketball League (NBL). The team is based in Sydney, New South Wales. The Kings were formed from a merger between the West Sydney Westars and the Sydney Supersonics in October 1987. They were the first team to win three consecutive championships in the NBL and currently sit fifth behind the Adelaide 36ers and New Zealand Breakers, Melbourne United (five) and Perth Wildcats (eight) for championships won. The Kings play their home games at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney Olympic Park, New South Wales.
The Perth Wildcats are an Australian professional basketball team based in Perth, Western Australia. The Wildcats compete in the National Basketball League (NBL) and play their home games at RAC Arena, known colloquially as "The Jungle". Their sister team, the Perth Lynx, play in the Women's National Basketball League.
Gary Ervin is an American professional basketball player who last played for Chorale Roanne Basket of the French LNB Pro B. He played college basketball for Mississippi State University and the University of Arkansas. Ervin was the NBL's Most Valuable Player for the 2010–11 NBL season while playing for the Wollongong Hawks.
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 is established to operate the Hawks into the future.
Mathew Campbell is an Australian former professional basketball player who played his entire career for the Wollongong Hawks of the National Basketball League (NBL).
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.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. On 25 March 2015, the Hawks secured Multi Civil and Rail as their major sponsor, as the company committed to a one-year deal.
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.
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",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.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 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.
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.
|Illawarra Hawks retired numbers|
|5||Gordie McLeod||G||1979–1982, 1984–1988|
|12||Glen Saville||G/F||1995–2007, 2008–2013|
|33||Melvin Thomas||F||1992–1995, 1999–2003|
Source: Retired Numbers
Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.
|Illawarra Hawks roster|
Updated: 20 June 2019
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.
|Illawarra Hawks season summary|
|1980||6th (13–9)||–||Dr. Adrian Hurley|
|1981||8th (9–13)||–||Joe Farrugia|
|1982||9th (11–15)||–||Tom Pottenger|
|1983||7th (4–18)||–||Mike Jones|
|1984||4th (13–11)||Elimination Finalist|
|1985||5th (10–16)||–||Ted Weston|
|1986||5th (15–11)||Semi Finalist||Dave Lindstrom|
|1987||3rd (20–6)||Semi Finalist|
|1989||11th (7–11)||–||Chuck Harmison||Norman Taylor|
|1990||8th (13–13)||–||Norman Taylor|
|1991||13th (6–20)||–||Norman Taylor|
|1992||5th (13–11)||Quarter Finalists||Doug Overton|
|1993||6th (15–11)||Quarter Finalists||Alan Black||Melvin Thomas|
|1994||8th (13–13)||Quarter Finalists||Melvin Thomas|
|1995||7th (14–12)||Quarter Finalists||Melvin Thomas|
|1996||10th (9–17)||–||Terry Johnson|
|1997||11th (7–23)||–||Matt Zauner||Clayton Ritter|
|1998||6th (14–16)||Elimination Finalists||Clayton Ritter||Clayton Ritter|
|1998–99||3rd (16–10)||Semi Finalists||C. J. Bruton|
|1999–00||8th (11–17)||–||Eric Cooks||Glen Saville & Melvin Thomas|
|2001–02||4th (16–14)||First Round||Glen Saville|
|2002–03||4th (18–12)||Semi Finalists||Glen Saville|
|2003–04||2nd (28–8)||Semi Finalists||Glen Saville|
|2004–05||2nd (20–12)||Grand Finalists||Glen Saville|
|2005–06||3rd (19–13)||Quarter Finalists||Rotating Captaincy||Cortez Groves|
|2006–07||10th (11–12)||–||Adam Ballinger|
|2007–08||11th (9–21)||–||Kavossy Franklin|
|2008–09||7th (9–19)||–||Glen Saville|
|2009–10||2nd (16-12)||Grand Finalists||Larry Davidson|
|2010–11||5th (15–13)||–||Gary Ervin|
|2011–12||8th (9–19)||–||Oscar Forman|
|2012–13||3rd (13–15)||Semi Finalists||Adris Deleon|
|2013–14||4th (13–15)||Semi Finalists||Rotnei Clarke|
|2014–15||8th (6–22)||–||Tim Coenraad|
|2015–16||3rd (17–11)||Semi Finalists||Rob Beveridge||Kevin Lisch|
|2016–17||4th (15–13)||Grand Finalists||Rotnei Clarke|
|2017–18||5th (12–16)||—||Kevin White||Demitrius Conger|
Source: NBL AWARD WINNERS
|Most games||527||Glen Saville|
|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|
|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|
The National Basketball League Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) is an annual National Basketball League (NBL) award given since the league's inaugural season to the best performing player of the regular season. Throughout the year, coaching staff from each team vote on the best performing players in every game, using a 5-4-3-2-1 system at the completion of each match. The votes are collated and the individual with the most votes at the end of the regular season is awarded the Most Valuable Player. The winner receives the Andrew Gaze Trophy, which is named in honour of Australian basketball legend Andrew Gaze, a seven-time winner of the NBL MVP award.
Glen Saville is an Australian former professional basketball player who played the majority of his career for the Wollongong Hawks of the National Basketball League (NBL).
WIN Entertainment Centre is a multi-purpose indoor arena, located in downtown Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.
Gordon "Gordie" McLeod is an Australian former professional basketball player and current assistant coach for the Cairns Taipans in the National Basketball League (NBL).
Larry Davidson is an Australian professional basketball player who last played for the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball League (NBL).
The 2009–10 NBL season was the 32nd season of competition since its establishment in 1979. A total of eight teams contested the league. The regular season was played between 24 September 2009 and 14 February 2010, followed by a post-season involving the top four teams. The schedule was announced on 5 June 2009.
Damian Patrick Martin is an Australian professional basketball player for the Perth Wildcats of the National Basketball League (NBL). After four years of college basketball for Loyola Marymount, Martin began his NBL career in 2007 with the West Sydney Razorbacks. In 2009, he made the move to Perth to join the Wildcats, where he went on to become a five-time NBL champion and six-time NBL Best Defensive Player. He is considered one of the NBL's all-time best defenders.
The 2010–11 NBL season was the 33rd season of competition since its establishment in 1979. A total of nine teams contested the league. The regular season was played between October 2010 and April 2011, followed by a post-season involving the top four. On 23 February 2010, it was announced that the Sydney Kings would return in 2010–11. The schedule was announced on 27 May 2010.
The 2010-11 NBL season was the 33rd for the Wollongong Hawks in the NBL.
Kevin John Lisch is an American-born Australian professional basketball player for the Sydney Kings of the National Basketball League (NBL). He played college basketball for Saint Louis University (SLU), where he finished as the sixth-highest scorer in school history. After winning an NBL Championship with the Perth Wildcats in 2010—along with the league's MVP award in 2012—Lisch made a return to the NBL for the 2015–16 season, joining the Illawarra Hawks, and ended up walking away with another MVP trophy, as well as the NBL's best defensive player award. In 2016, he became an Australian citizen and joined the Sydney Kings. That same year, he made his debut for the Australian national team at the Rio Olympics. He also holds an Italian passport thanks to his mother, which allowed him to play as a local in France and Spain between 2013 and 2015.
The 2012–13 NBL season was the 35th season of competition since its establishment in 1979. A total of eight teams contested the league. The regular season was played between 5 October 2012 and 24 March 2013, followed by a post-season which involved the top four in April 2013. The schedule was announced on 4 June 2012. The New Zealand Breakers successfully defended their 2011–12 title for a third consecutive championship.
The 2012 National Basketball League All-Star Game was held at the 8,000 seat Adelaide Arena in Adelaide, South Australia on 22 December 2012. The game was won by the South All-Stars, 134 points to the North All-Stars 114. Melbourne Tigers shooting guard Chris Goulding electrified the 4,523 in attendance, scoring 24 points, grabbing 5 rebounds and handing out 4 assists on his way to winning the game's MVP award. The game was broadcast on Network Ten in Australia and it was the first NBL All-Star Game since 2007/08.
The 2013–14 NBL season was the 36th season of competition since its establishment in 1979. A total of eight teams contested the league. The regular season was played between 10 October 2013 and 23 March 2014, and was followed by a post-season featuring the top four in late March and April 2014. The schedule was announced on 9 August 2013. The Perth Wildcats defeated the Adelaide 36ers 2–1 in the three-game finals series, with the final match at Perth Arena attended by 13,498 people.
The 2015–16 NBL season was the 38th season of competition since its establishment in 1979. A total of eight teams contested the league. The regular season was played between 7 October 2015 and 14 February 2016, followed by a post-season featuring the top four in late February and March 2016.
Tim Coenraad is an Australian professional basketball player for the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball League (NBL). He primarily plays as small forward. He was named the Hawks Most Valuable Player in 2015.
The 2016–17 NBL season was the 39th season of the National Basketball League since its establishment in 1979. A total of eight teams contested the league. The regular season was played between October 2016 and February 2017, followed by a post-season featuring the top four in late February and March 2017.