Five years of patience might be finally paying off for Wollongong forward Dan Jackson.
After riding the bench for most of his career, "Jacko" played almost 17 minutes off the bench in last Friday's 79-76 opening round defeat of Sydney, finishing with three points and three rebounds in a sound performance.
It remains to be seen if Jackson will be the first-choice backup to starting forward Glen Saville when Tim Coenraad returns from a foot injury in four weeks.
Either way, he certainly has the inside running for now.
"Jacko's had a really good pre-season and worked hard," Hawks coach Gordie McLeod said.
"Some of the guys who've been around the group for a bit have waited for an opportunity and they've got that. Sometimes that comes through someone else's misfortune and he's got an opportunity and he's doing a good job for us."
While Coenraad is aiming to return in round five or six, backup shooting guard Tyson Demos (knee injury) expects to be back on deck for the round-three home meeting with Townsville.