ELEVEN long years.
It will go down as one of the longest running hoodoos in Australian, if not international, sporting history.
It was such a hoodoo it became known as a curse.
But alas the curse is no more.
The Illawarra Hawks officially ended a 25-game losing streak to the Perth Wildcats in Perth on Sunday night.
It started on November 5, 2011, and ran right up until the weekend.
The Hawks, even without import Marvelle Harris, managed to stun the large crowd in Perth, known as the “red army”, into silence.
"This is one of the toughest if not the toughest to play in. The way we handled the comebacks, the crowd, everything that was really, really special for us as a group for self belief that we can win in a building like this,” Hawks coach Rob Beveridge said about the win.
"It is unbelievably special particularly for Rhys [Martin] who has been in the league for nine years and never won in Perth.
“For our players who have been long term members of the club, it is special for them as well.”
The four-point win also brought the Illawarra Hawks back to an even 6-6 win-loss split after a tough start to the year.
Given the evenness of the 2016 National Basketball League competition this year though, that is already enough to have the Hawks sitting in fourth position on the NBL ladder.
The Hawks would have had every right to share a little celebratory toast on Sunday night before flying home to resume preparations for another tough road trip.
The Hawks fly out to take on new Zealand on Friday night before turning around for a crucial next home game against dominant arch rival the Sydney Kings.
The Hawks-Kings clash on Monday, December 5, is looming as a massive contest and hopefully the Illawarra basketball fans can come out in droves despite the timing of the fixture.
In round two, the Kings defeated the Hawks at the WEC with Kevin Lisch rubbing salt into the wounds with a star performance.
The Illawarra Hawks will have that loss burned into their memory banks.
Make sure you get along to the WEC on December 5 to give the Kings the traditional Illawarra welcome.
It’s time to give the Sydney Kings the “royal treatment”.