Glen Saville to announce NBL retirement

Tributes are expected to flood in from all corners of the nation when Glen Saville draws the curtain on his magnificent career today.

Scans of the Wollongong Hawks legend's injured left knee have confirmed his worst fears, forcing him to retire after 19 NBL seasons.

Saville visited a Sydney-based knee specialist yesterday and was shattered to learn the extent of the injury.

He was unavailable for comment and will officially announce his retirement - effective immediately - at a media conference this morning at Hawks headquarters.

Emotions got the better of Saville when he informed teammates behind closed doors of his decision shortly after they finished training.

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The 2001 finals MVP wanted to use the rest of his time yesterday to break the news to family and close friends.

Saville leaves a legacy as one of the greatest forwards in NBL history, and his 563 games ranks fourth on the all-time list behind Tony Ronaldson (665), Andrew Gaze (612) and Leroy Loggins (567).

Saville, who was an Olympian with the Australian Boomers in 2004 and 2008, suffered the injury in last week's home loss to reigning champions New Zealand.

Though he probably intended to call it a day at the end of the 2012-13 season, those plans have been cruelly brought forward.

The injury-weakened Hawks have 10 games remaining and are placed in fourth spot.

They will sorely miss Saville's leadership and experience down the home stretch, but the 37-year-old has given his teammates an incentive to reach the finals and ensure his final season ends with a bang rather than a whimper.

He was a rookie with the Hawks in 1995 and spent his entire career with the club, aside from one season with the Sydney Kings in 2007-08.

Saville's retirement follows that of former captain Mat Campbell's last season and leaves the Hawks with big shoes to fill.

He only recently broke Campbell's club record of 524 games, finishing on 527. Saville co-captained Wollongong with Campbell when the club won its only NBL championship, in 2001.

Hawks fans will be saddened by news that Saville has played his last game, but they will get the opportunity to give him a fond farewell when Wollongong host Adelaide in the final game of the regular season on March 23.

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