Ogilvy determined for Hawks to fulfill finals potential


He was awarded one of the competition’s top honours earlier this week, but Illawarra’s AJ Ogilvy is adamant he won’t be satisfied with his season if the Hawks fail to earn an NBL title shot.

The towering centre was named as part of the All-NBL first team on Monday night alongside Casey Prather (Perth), Casper Ware (Melbourne) and Adelaide duo Jerome Randle and Daniel Johnson.

However, Ogilvy admitted he had bigger things in mind than personal accolades on the eve of the Hawks’ finals showdown with the 36ers.

“I was more focused on making the team better [this season] and making sure we win games. I think with all the hard work we have put in to get where we are, anything but a grand final series will be a disappointment,” the 211cm talent said.

Ogilvy is expected to play a key role in Illawarra’s title bid.

Coach Rob Beveridge stressed the centre’s importance to the club’s title hopes following his 22 point and six rebound display in the Hawks’ 106-79 win over the Bullets last Saturday.

The dominant performance has become the norm for Ogilvy throughout the second half of the campaign after he made an inconsistent start to the season. 

“I have tried to come up and play more aggressive,” Ogilvy said.

“I have tried rebound harder because I think that’s where I thought I was letting the team down.

“That’s what I have been doing a better job of the last few weeks.”

Ogilvy and the Hawks will travel to Adelaide on Wednesday before meeting the 36ers in game one of their series on Thursday night at Titanium Security Arena. 

The two teams then return to play in Wollongong on Sunday afternoon.

“It would be ideal to go over there and get a win that first game,” Ogilvy said.

“If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen but we have to make sure we go out and compete in this first game because we know we can beat them there.

“It is not like they are an unbeatable team. They have lost their last four and we beat them recently so I think we have got a good game plan going into the game and we know what it takes to beat them.”