Wollongong Hawks sign `flying' Carson

Hawks star recruit Jahii Carson in action for Arizona State.

Hawks star recruit Jahii Carson in action for Arizona State.

The Wollongong Hawks have recruited one of the most talented imports in club history with the signing of NBA prospect Jahii Carson.

Boasting an astonishing 47-inch vertical leap, Carson starred at the University of Arizona State for two years and narrowly missed selection in the NBA college draft in June.

The 178cm point guard is known for his dunking, quickness and ball-handling ability and will be part of Wollongong’s all-American starting backcourt with fellow import Gary Ervin.

Hawks owner James Spenceley believes Carson will be hugely popular with Wollongong fans.

‘‘The addition of Jahii is a massive coup for the club and instantly transforms the team into a unique excitement machine with endless possibilities,’’ Spenceley said.

‘‘Jahii brings world-class athleticism to the Hawks and the NBL with his tremendous gifts for soaring and creating spectacular plays that are associated with basketball at the highest level. Simply, he can fly.’’

Carson exploded onto the college basketball scene, claiming the 2013 Freshman of the Year award in the PAC-12 Conference - one of the strongest conferences in the nation.

After averaging 18.5 points, 5.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds in his first season, he backed up with averages of 18.6, 4.4 and 4.0 as a sophomore.

Several college and NBA scouts predicted Carson would be drafted. His name wasn’t called, but the 22-year-old lined up for the Houston Rockets in the NBA Summer League and remains hopeful of eventually earning an NBA contract after a season with the Hawks.

‘‘Jahii and Gary will bring a new level of excitement and entertainment to the fans in Wollongong and the wider basketball audience in Australia with their unprecedented speed and ability to dominate with the ball,’’ Spenceley said.

‘‘Hawks fans are certainly in for a treat this season.’’

Carson arrives in Australia next week.

The Hawks have eight players under contract for the 2014-15 season and are close to re-signing guard Tyson Demos.

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