Rhys Martin linked to European basketball

Rhys Martin's future at Wollongong appears uncertain, with speculation he may link with a European club.
Rhys Martin's future at Wollongong appears uncertain, with speculation he may link with a European club.


Wollongong Hawks free agent Rhys Martin might have played his last game for the club.

After six seasons with Wollongong, Martin is rumoured to be looking to further his career in Europe, though he would not confirm such speculation yesterday.

"I'm still negotiating with the Hawks," he said.

"We're trying to come to an agreement that's going to suit everybody and work within the club's budget restraints."

Martin is in his prime as a basketballer.

The 28-year-old, 185-centimetre-tall playmaker is coming off his best season in the NBL.

He scored a career-high 32 points in a crucial 91-89 home win over Adelaide in February and earned selection in the national team for a four-game series against China in June.

A linchpin for Wollongong in recent years, he has established a reputation as one of the league's top-flight Australian-born guards.

The Hawks have tabled an offer to Martin but it is understood he will hold out for at least a few more weeks in the hope of earning a contract in Europe.

Martin has Irish roots on his grandfather's side and would be eligible to play on a European passport.

If he doesn't go overseas, Martin is likely to stay with the Hawks, if they still have a vacancy on the roster.

Wollongong coach Gordie McLeod is in the US scouting for a new import to replace former Hawks star Rotnei Clarke, who has signed with a Belgian club.

Martin said he had not turned his back on the Hawks.

"I don't have an offer anywhere else to play and that's something I'm working through," he said.

If Martin goes, Wollongong will have a new starting backcourt in 2014-15.

The Hawks have Oscar Forman, Larry Davidson, Tim Coenraad and Brad Hill under contract for next season, while negotiations are continuing with free agents Dave Gruber and Tyson Demos.

Sydney-based businessman James Spenceley was voted in as the Hawks' new owner at a members' meeting last night. The club is offering cheap season tickets and memberships to grow its fan base.


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