Rotnei won't be rushed

Rotnei Clarke, left, and Hawks teammate Kevin Tiggs at Docklands on Thursday. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Rotnei Clarke, left, and Hawks teammate Kevin Tiggs at Docklands on Thursday. Picture: GETTY IMAGES


NBL'S Most Valuable Player Rotnei Clarke will begin negotiations about another season with the Wollongong Hawks on Friday, but will not be rushed into a decision, with a number of lucrative international offers expected to come.

The US guard, who averaged 20.2 points a game in his debut season, edged out Melbourne Tigers scoring machine Chris Goulding and Wildcats dynamo James Ennis for the league's top individual honour in Melbourne on Wednesday night.

He is set to meet Hawks coach Gordie McLeod before the club celebrates its awards night on Friday night.

Wollongong will be desperate to hold on to Clarke after he helped guide them to an unlikely semi-finals berth this season.

But Clarke has no intention of jumping into a decision on his future.

"I will have talks with the Hawks and see what they are able to do budget-wise and talk with my agent, weigh up my options," Clarke said.

"I am not going to make a decision quickly. I am going to have to discuss it with my future wife and my family.

"It is a huge decision for me, but I could definitely be back, you never know."

Clarke is to marry his long-time fiancee, Patricia, in June back in the US.

He maintained her interests would play a vital role in his decision making, but admitted a second year in the NBL was still an option.

"I could definitely see myself coming back to Australia," Clarke said.

"It is an awesome place, an awesome place to live and with me being married in June, it is going to be a great place, if I was to come back, for me and my wife to spend our first year together."

"It is a great league and a well respected league.

"From the talks [at the NBL awards night] and them explaining the direction they were going, it is only going to get better and noticed more by not only this country but around the world."

If Clarke was to return to Australia, it remains to be seen if it would be with the Hawks.

Already well and truly on the radar of the Hawks' NBL rivals by winning the league's MVP, Clarke's value around the competition will skyrocket further.

By his own admission, claiming the competition's highest individual honour will be a "resume booster" and is a title he is happy to have.

"I don't play the game for accolades but when you do work hard and put extra work in, it is always awesome to be rewarded," Clarke said.


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