Wollongong Hawks get a happy ending with a touch of Bollywood

The rise and fall, rise and fall, and now rise of the Wollongong Hawks has all the hallmarks of a Hollywood epic.The Hawks shot from cellar-dweller status to take the NBL title in 2001 - not dissimilar to what occurred in the inspirational American basketball flick Hoosiers.But just over 12 months ago the club's financial crisis threatened to sink the Hawks forever, Titanic-style. They were then saved after a concerted community campaign.

  • Indian magnate saves the Wollongong Hawks
  • PROFILE: 'Kolkata boy' Arun Kumar JagatramkaIn a topsy-turvy saga, they were again under threat at the end of last season. The NBL told the Hawks hierarchy in no uncertain terms that if the sole surviving foundation club could not provide a $1 million surety then it was lights out at WIN Entertainment Centre. Last Wednesday and facing oblivion in five days, Hawks captain Mat Campbell and club stalwart Wayne Morris sat in the Mercury boardroom and we discussed tactics.Easter was approaching and greater miracles had occurred, we jested. The Mercury had approached Wollongong council and state and federal government representatives without luck. We threw arounds names of companies and individuals who could help. And Morris, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, raised the name of Arun Jagatramka - the Indian coal king who runs Gujarat NRE Minerals and who had featured in the Mercury because of his company's expansion plans.It was worth a go and we gave our never-say-die duo a contact for an intermediary. As we reveal today, they consequently signed up the new import from the subcontinent. And he's bagged the best three-pointer for the Hawks we've seen yet.What a lovely touch of Bollywood - our slumdog Hawks turned to millionaires.

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