Saville to savour milestone

BASKETBALL

This same story was probably written 10 years ago.

The one where one of the Hawks' favourite sons, with the No 12 on his back and a ball of energy mixed with deft touches around the basket, adds to what will be an unmatched legacy.

Not that Glen Saville has had it marked down in his diary to remember.

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"I didn't know it was coming until you told me about it," Saville said on the eve of surpassing good friend Mat Campbell as the all-time games record-holder for the Hawks.

Entering such rarefied air is usually foreign, but Saville has had a little bit of practice getting used to it.

On that occasion back in 2003 the subsequent two-time Olympian edged past Chuck Harmison who suited up 235 times for the Hawks.

Only Saville's brief dalliance with Sydney allowed Campbell to assume the mantle, but it's back in his keeping tomorrow night, co-incidentally his 37th birthday and the first of a double-barrelled road trip for the Hawks.

By his own admission he might be a little slower and not as athletic as the 27-year-old all-action version of himself, but the spark is still there.

The reason for his longevity?

Luck played a big part, said the veteran of 19 seasons, on the verge of his 525th game for the Hawks, plus a fair bit of discipline.

"When you play professional sport you just have to have good habits on a daily basis to continue to play the game," he said. "There's always someone new that can come along and take your spot.

"If you're going to play at this elite level, you need to have good habits and take care of yourself."

Taking care of yourself just might mean Saville will forever be etched in the Hawks' history books with a record that will take some beating.

Campbell, while laughing off any chance of coming out of retirement to help the injury-plagued Hawks which would match Saville's achievement, paid tribute to his best mate in basketball.

"We've been childhood friends, team-mates for most of our basketball careers and now our families are close," he said.

"I was humbled to set the games milestone and if I could have chosen anyone to break it, it would be Sav.

"Whatever accolade is given to Sav he deserves."

Which is why Saville still hasn't stopped giving cheek to younger team-mates.

"Some guys you see in their mid-20s have bodies like I have right now," Saville joked.

"There are times I feel like I'm moving pretty slow, but there are guys that are moving slower. I think I have my parents to thank for my genes, although the athleticism is not what it used to be, but I'm still hanging in there."

Which is why his record will stand for a lot of years to come.

RECORD HOLDERS

Hawks all-time games record holders (games they finished on for club in brackets):

Jim Slacke (143)

Gordie McLeod (215)

Chuck Harmison (234)

Glen Saville (395)

Mat Campbell (524)

Glen Saville (525*)

* After tomorrow night’s New Zealand Breakers clash

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