The Hawks have landed one of the biggest NBL Free Agency signings yet, securing former Cleveland Cavaliers forward Deng Adel for the upcoming Australian season.
Adel has opted to join the Hawks ahead of other NBL franchises, giving the club a major boost as it attempts to rebuild under new coach Brian Goorjian.
And it appears Goorjian was one of the key reasons why Adel has committed himself to the Wollongong-based club, saying the former Boomers coach was the right man to help him grow his game.
"I'm super excited. I wanted to join the Hawks, it's a great situation there having Coach Goorjian and the ownership group they have," Adel said.
"It's an opportunity to build a new culture there and I'm excited for the challenge. I've seen a couple of the (Hawks) games on YouTube and seen how wild the crowd gets.
"It (having Goorjian as coach) was a big factor. I'm trying to develop my game and I want to grow every year and I think the resume that he has speaks for itself.
"I want to be in that type of environment where I can work every day and be challenged by the coach and a coach that is willing to put himself out there for the betterment of the players."
Adel joins fellow Hawks players Emmett Naar, Deng Deng, Dan Grida and Sam Froling on the club's roster for this season, the 23-year-old having most recently played for the Long Island Nets in the NBA G-League.
Hawks coach Goorjian said the Sudanese Australian had a goal to get back to the NBA and that the franchise would do its utmost to ensure that Adel continued to develop so that his dream would again be a reality.
"Deng is an NBA level talent and at just 23-years-old, he holds aspirations to make the NBA again," Goorjian said.
"The fact he has put his trust and faith in The Hawks program to help him on that journey is a great endorsement of the organisation and its direction under new ownership.
"On the court Deng is going to help tremendously as we construct a roster that will help establish a winning culture for the club."
Adel saw playing time across 19 games for the Cavaliers in the 2018-19 NBA season, featuring in the starting line-up for three of those matches. He played a career high 36 minutes for the Cavaliers against the Washington Wizards in February 2019.
Adel also played college basketball in the United States at the University of Louisville for three years, averaging 11.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 26.8 minutes per game across 89 appearances.