Wollongong Hawks newcomer Brad Hill says he has 'a point to prove'

Brad Hill before training at the Snakepit in Gwynneville on Tuesday. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Brad Hill before training at the Snakepit in Gwynneville on Tuesday. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

BASKETBALL

Wollongong Hawks newcomer Brad Hill remains puzzled about the reasons behind his falling out of favour with former Sydney coach Shane Heal last season.

Hill signed a two-year contract with the Hawks earlier this month - his fifth club in 10 years.

Last season the 198cm swingman averaged 8.8 points and 4.6 rebounds in the first 12 games, as Sydney put together a 5-7 record.

But Heal played Hill less than two minutes in the 13th game of the season against New Zealand, setting a pattern which remained over the second half of the season as the Kings narrowly missed the playoffs.

Hill says he never really found out why he slipped so far down in Heal’s rotation and is keen to make up for lost time with his new club.

‘‘I do have a point to prove,’’ the 27-year-old said.

‘‘The year didn’t work out how I would’ve liked it to, so it’s a fresh start. I’ve got two years here to make the most of it.

‘‘Last year was very different for me. There was a lot of stuff we did in Sydney that are different to the plans this year in terms of how I’ll be used on the floor. I played the four-spot a lot last year which was brand new to me. It worked at times, but it probably isn’t my natural position, so from that point of view things will be a lot different here.’’

Hill met his new teammates earlier this week when he had his first training sessions with the Hawks.

He is playing for Mt Gambier in the South East Australian Basketball League and will move to Wollongong in September.

‘‘I’m looking for a home, a place to get some consistency in terms of my own performance and being able to buy into an environment and culture,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s important for me to find a place where it works with what I know I’m capable of doing, and I think I’ll have that opportunity here to grow into that. It’s a perfect environment for me to grow into what I think I can become.’’

In addition to Wollongong and Sydney, Hill has spent time with Adelaide (twice), the defunct South Dragons and Cairns.

Hill had been on Hawks coach Gordie McLeod’s radar for a few years and is glad to be playing under the two-time NBL Coach of the Year.

‘‘It’s a good group of guys and I’m looking forward to the future,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ve spoken to Gordie in the past and things just hadn’t eventuated. I had a couple of options, but the idea of coming to Wollongong’s always been something I’ve been fond of.

‘‘We’ve got a veteran group, we’ve got a lot of good shooters on our team and we’ve still got two imports to add to that. I feel like I can bring something to the table. We’re going to be playing with a lot of space on the floor and that suits me. It’s just about learning the system and getting stuck into it.’’

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