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NBL awards Illawarra Hawks licence to an international syndicate

NBL awards Illawarra Hawks licence to an international syndicate
June 17, 2020

The NBL has awarded the Illawarra Hawks licence to an international syndicate that will change the team's name as it looks to attract new fans to the foundation club.

The new owners of the franchise include former co-owner of the Sydney Kings Dorry Kordahi, former NBA Executive Bryan Colangelo and American businessman Michael Proctor.

The award of the licence follows months of discussions between the NBL and interested parties after it took back the Hawk's licence from previous owner Simon Stratford following the franchise's worst season on record.

Advising of the change in a statement, NBL owner and Executive Chairman Larry Kestelman said the successful bid was the best-credentialled group to deliver long-term success on and off the court.

Kestelman explained “they have a proven track record in business and basketball to be able to take the Hawks to the next level as the NBL continues on its strong growth trajectory after five consecutive years of record attendances and broadcast audiences as well as increased global recognition."

He thanked former Hawks player and top NBA prospect LaMelo Ball for his interest in purchasing the licence and said he was open to exploring opportunities with the 18-year-old into the future.

NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said under the new owners the franchise would drop Illawarra from its name and be known as 'The Hawks'.

The Hawks are the only team to have played in every NBL season since the competition's inception in 1979 and during that time have been known as either the 'Illawarra Hawks' or the 'Wollongong Hawks'.

The NBL says the intention is for the team still be based in Wollongong but will be looking to expand its footprint and appeal to basketball fans outside of the region.

The Hawks have a long history of local representation in the club's ownership, with the franchise operating under a community-ownership model for a number of years.

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