Former Hawks captain Clayton Ritter celebrated the Wollongong NRE Hawks' weekend win against Perth while on a trip to visit family in Australia.
Mr Ritter has returned from the United States for a 2½-week trip over Christmas.
"My kids got a chance to watch the game and they are now thoroughly Hawks fans," he said.
"I don't play much any more - I coach my sons now.
"Which is what most old guys do when their knees hurt too much to keep playing.
"They love it.
"They say what walks in the father runs in the son.
"And they're big for their age.
"I don't know where they got their size from," he joked.
Mr Ritter encouraged the Hawks team to keep on fighting, despite their tough season.
The key to playing in a team was understanding your role, he said.
"It's when everyone understands their role and does their job," he said.
"A team will struggle when someone tries to do somebody else's job.
"It goes for church teams too."
The basketball player left his sporting career in 2000 to pursue life as a pastor in Wave Church, Virginia Beach.
While in Australia, he took the opportunity to speak at Wollongong's Lighthouse Church.
"When I was playing basketball over here, I was a Christian," he said.
"My relationship with Jesus has been the biggest part of who I am and what I've done."
In three talks over the weekend, Mr Ritter spoke about the benefits of being a part of the church family and how to help others.
"It's being able to do life together with people serving the same God, going in the same direction," he said.
"A message about bringing the hope of Jesus to the world. It's a hope that only Jesus can offer."
Brookvale resident Gregory Humphreys said he felt moved by Mr Ritter's preaching.
"I felt like the Holy Spirit was a fire coming from Clayton and reviving my own spirit," he said.
"I'm staying with family down here and so I came to the service."