Wollongong captain Oscar Forman says today's NBL All-Stars match will have important underpinnings for the Hawks heading into the second half of the regular season.
Wollongong is well represented at the returning showcase event, with Forman and imports Lance Hurdle and Adris Deleon recruited for the North side. The 10-man team, which will play a southern outfit consisting of the competition's best New Zealand, Victorian, South and West Australian players, is headed by Hawks coach Gordie McLeod.
While the result will hardly impact the Hawks' title aspirations, Forman said being selected was a great reflection on McLeod and the rest of the Wollongong side moving forward.
"The All-Stars game is a great opportunity," Forman said.
"I've never made an All-Stars game before and as much as you want to rest and you want a two-week break to recover, I've never made one and I guess it's something that I'd like to look back on and say I've done."
Hurdle agreed with Forman that the game could have repercussions for the Hawks.
"I just pray that none of us get hurt - any of us," he said.
"I don't care who you play for, I just hope it's good, clean fun and that we can enjoy the weekend.
"I'm really excited about the game - hopefully we can bring it home for Wollongong."
After 12 of their 28 regular-season games, Wollongong's record stands at 8-4 - good enough for a share of second spot in the NBL standings with the Perth Wildcats.
Forman has led from the front in his first year as captain, particularly with his pinpoint three-point shooting.
As such, the 30-year-old has been selected for the three-point shoot-out component of the All-Stars event.
"It's something that I'm recognised for and something that I pride myself on, my shooting percentages," Forman said.
"Hopefully I can go down and shoot well, unlike last time I was in Adelaide and I didn't hit a shot."
Adelaide 36ers forward Anthony Petrie has withdrawn from the match and been replaced by teammate Stephen Weigh. Petrie has been advised against playing by team medical staff due to an ongoing back problem.