Judges reflect on Greatest Illawarra Hawks of All Time

Editor JULIAN O'BRIEN sat down with some of our judging panel during the week. VIEW THE VIDEOS BELOW FOR MORE. 

A few beers were plonked on a table in the legendary bar at the legendary home of the Hawks, the Snakepit. It’s stinking hot outside and feels 10 degrees hotter in the stadium. It’s not hard to imagine what a threatening environment this small stadium would have been with Illawarra fans foaming at the mouth, cans in hand and hanging from the rafters. Today, four of our Greatest Hawks of All time judges `knock the top off a few’ and exchange memories.

Memories like the side benefits of being a home team player at the Snakepit, memories of the greats of yesteryear and putting your house up as a bank guarantee to get the stadium built in the first place. True story. 

FULL HOUSE: A capacity crowd at the Beaton Park `Snakepit' taken on June 8, 1986.

FULL HOUSE: A capacity crowd at the Beaton Park `Snakepit' taken on June 8, 1986.

With four of the judges relaxed and lined up, we ask “have we truly come up with the Illawarra’s ‘Dream Team’” in this Greatest Hawks campaign? Laughter breaks out.

“You wouldn’t have handled the egos, let’s be honest,” Chuck fires at long time administrator and club stalwart John Trivellion Scott.

“I was gonna say the same thing,” Campbell adds grinning.

John Trivellion Scott ignores the jibes and jumps in.

“This team here (the 12 players selected in the Greatest Hawks campaign) is really our dream team,” he says.

JUDGES: Tim Fares, Mat Campbell, Chuck Harmison and John Trivellion Scott Absent: Glen Saville, Peter Brettell and Gordie McLeod. Picture: Sylvia Liber

JUDGES: Tim Fares, Mat Campbell, Chuck Harmison and John Trivellion Scott Absent: Glen Saville, Peter Brettell and Gordie McLeod. Picture: Sylvia Liber

“It’s been an excellent group of guys that have come together and supported basketball and played their hearts out for the Illawarra and Wollongong over the 40 seasons. It is a really good team and it is the dream team.”

Over the course of an hour, the judges exchange tales and memories and their thoughts on the 12 great players.

In summation of the final 12, the judges are asked whether all of the Greats would stand the test of time? It is met with nods of general agreement. These 12 players would cross generations. Put them in any side, in any era, they’d be stars.

It’s been an excellent group of guys that have come together and supported basketball and played their hearts out for the Illawarra and Wollongong over the 40 seasons. It is a really good team and it is the dream team.

John Trivellion Scott

“Michael Jones could play in this league right now. Without a doubt,” Scott says.

“He was one of the first players who played above the ring in our club. 

“I think his average was 30 points or something per game which is pretty high even compared to today’s standards. He was also a rebounder and a defender.  He’d be a top player in this league.*

Ladies and gentlemen, we have identified the Illawarra’s Dream Team.

AN ICONIC IMAGE

MEMORY: A shot of a young Angus Glover with Mat Campbell back in 2009. Picture: Sylvia Liber,

MEMORY: A shot of a young Angus Glover with Mat Campbell back in 2009. Picture: Sylvia Liber,

The image perfectly captures the history and legacy of the Illawarra Hawks.

A scrawny young fan looks up to then Hawks captain Mat Campbell having won a signed Hawks singlet as part of the Save the Hawks campaign. 

Little did both know, that young kid would go on to become a playing member of the Illawarra Hawks.

Angus is now a development player with the Hawks working his way back from his third knee reconstruction and is considered one the of the brightest junior prospects in Australian basketball.

“I always remember him (Angus) in the gym,” Campbell says.

“I always used to look at him and he was so small and I was like ‘it’s such a shame that he's so small. He’s never gonna make it’. Then, as he started getting a bit older, I’d see him and go ‘Is that Angus?’. I think now he actually does look down (literally) on me.

“To see him develop through the club … that ability to  have something there for the juniors to say if I do put in the effort there is an opportunity for me here.”

Being in the Snakepit brings back memories?

Being in the Snakepit brings back memories

Being in the Snakepit brings back memories

 Back then the fire regulations wouldn't have held up?

Back then the fire regulations wouldn't have held up?

Back then the fire regulations wouldn't have held up?

Dream team and personal memories?

Dream team and personal memories

Dream team and personal memories

What opposition players copped it most at the Snakepit. 

What opposition players copped it most at the snakepit

What opposition players copped it most at the snakepit

Development of basketball as a sport .

Development of basketball as a sport

Development of basketball as a sport

How close the club came to not being here.

How close the club came to not being here

How close the club came to not being here

The championship and 40 years.

The championship and 40 years

The championship and 40 years

Reminiscing about players such as Michael Jones.

Reminiscing about players such as Michael Jones

Reminiscing about players such as Michael Jones

Photo with a young Angus Glover.

Photo with a young Angus Glover

Photo with a young Angus Glover

Was it hard balancing players across generations in the Greatest Hawks judging?

Was it hard balancing players across generations in the Greatest Hawks judging

Was it hard balancing players across generations in the Greatest Hawks judging

The pressure of being a one premiership club.

The pressure of being a one premiership club

The pressure of being a one premiership club

Darnell's unique position.

Darnell's unique position

Darnell's unique position

Comments

Discuss "‘It is our dream team’: Judges reflect on Greatest Illawarra Hawks of All Time"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.