New Hawk happy to be part of club

BASKETBALL

He was a West Sydney Razorbacks fan as a kid but new Wollongong Hawks signing Shane Harris-Tunks has no trouble switching allegiances.

The Razorbacks and Hawks shared a bitter rivalry for over a decade before the Sydney club folded a few years ago.

"I was a big Razorbacks fan back when [Wollongong coach] Gordie [McLeod] was coaching them although I haven't let him know that," Harris-Tunks said.

"The Hawks are almost my local team now. Driving-wise, it's quicker to get down to the Hawks than it is to get to a [Sydney] Kings game."

Harris-Tunks will be part of the Hawks' 10-man roster for the 2013-14 NBL season and play a back-up role to starting centre Larry Davidson.

Standing 209cm-tall, he was a member of the Australian team at the under-19 world championship in 2009.

He spent three years at the University of Colorado - a knee injury wrecked his senior year - and has a degree in journalism.

"I went over there [Colorado] to play basketball but primarily to get my degree as well," he said.

"I had an opportunity to come back and play here so I came back and trialled with the Hawks and got a position.

"It's an awesome opportunity, especially being from Liverpool. Being so close to the family again is great. It's been seven years since I've lived this close to them, so it's been really nice."

Harris-Tunks debuted for Wollongong in last month's trial against St Mary's at Nowra and is making the trip to Cairns for this weekend trials.

The Hawks fly to north Queensland today for games against the Taipans tomorrow and Saturday.

Grasping the ins and outs of the Hawks offensive and defensive systems hasn't always been a breeze but Harris-Tunks is a quick learner.

"Playing against all these guys [Hawks teammates], you always pick up little things," he said.

"They just threw everything at me, and in the first two weeks I was buzzing around in my head. Every now and then there's one or two things I still mess up but if I mess something up, I figure it out and don't mess [it] up again."

"The Hawks have eight players signed for the coming season and are still in the market for an import to play the starting three-spot and a back-up guard.

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