The Wollongong Hawks could have a new import in the line-up in time for Thursday night's season-opening road duel with reigning titleholders New Zealand Breakers.
Former University of South Florida guard Mike Mercer had his first training run with the Hawks yesterday and hopes to secure a contract for the 2013-14 season.
Wollongong coach Gordie McLeod has an import vacancy after American star Durrell Summers asked for a release last week.
Mercer, who stands 193 centimetres, played with Geelong in the South East Australian Basketball League and won't have any immigration issues if the Hawks name him in the team to face the Breakers at Auckland's Vector Arena.
"When Durrell left we looked around the country to see who was still here. Mike was in Geelong so we thought we'd bring him up to train with the group," McLeod said.
"It helps us out with practice and also we want to evaluate him as a possible replacement.
"We're looking more for a three-two man, and he's probably more a two, but we also have a couple of injury concerns with other guys in the group and we thought we needed to get someone in for the New Zealand game in the possibility that those guys didn't come up."
Mercer isn't the only import prospect the Hawks are checking out.
"Some of the other guys we were looking at have moved on to other teams, so we're just seeing who's available and working our way through that situation," McLeod said.
"Mike will be here for a couple of days and then we'll make a decision whether we take him to New Zealand or continue the evaluation process. It's just seeing whether he fits what we're looking for."