Lance Hurdle a humble All Star

BASKETBALL

Hawks import Lance Hurdle will be named in the NBL All Stars game today and is promising his best is yet to come.

Hurdle produced a season-high 17 points against Perth last weekend, after spending much of the season in the shadow of teammate Adris Deleon.

His timely form rise, extraordinary vertical leap and selection in the NBL dunk contest has helped seal a place on the bench for the North All Stars, joining Deleon and Hawks captain Oscar Forman, who are already chosen in the starting five.

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The NBL is set to today confirm the 25-year-old will play at Adelaide Arena on Saturday week.

"It's an honour even to be mentioned to be in the All Star game," he told the Mercury yesterday.

"To be honest, it's not something I've been that worried about, because we have two big games coming up this weekend.

"But it would be a blessing if I'm selected."

While admitting it's taken him a while to find his feet in the league this year, Hurdle said he had become comfortable with coach Gordie McLeod's system.

Hurdle hit some key baskets in Wollongong's second half comeback against Perth on Friday night, though the Wildcats took control in the final quarter to win by 12.

Facing a rematch with Perth tomorrow night at WIN Entertainment Centre, Hurdle said his priority remained with team performance before personal glory.

"I got a few points the other night, but we still lost," he said.

"I don't care about my performance individually, or what my role is, it's more about whatever the team needs to do.

"At the beginning of the season it takes a while to get my feet wet, that's how it's always been for me.

"But I'm starting to relax and it's coming together for me."

The Hawks have a crucial double-header this weekend, travelling to Sydney to take on the in-form Kings on Saturday, 24 hours after the Wildcats duel.

Hurdle promised to bring out a couple of special moves for the All Star dunking contest, which will be held just an hour before tip-off in the showcase North - featuring Cairns, Townsville, Sydney and Wollongong players - versus South - New Zealand, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth - game.

"I'm going to have some fun," he said.

"It's all stuff I've done before in the [United] States in between pick-up games, but people might be a bit surprised."

After relinquishing top spot on the ladder, McLeod declared Hurdle would only continue to make more of an impact in the NBL as the season continued.

"He's getting better within our system and what we do. We're really looking to him as a key player."

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