Illawarra Hawks great Oscar Forman has penned an emotional letter to fans and teammates, as he announces his retirement after 17 seasons in the NBL.
At 36, Forman finishes with 511 games, the 11th most in NBL history.
An amazing shooting ability for his 206-centimetre frame, Forman dropped 904 three-pointers since his debut with Adelaide in 2002, the 13th most of any player.
After five seasons with the 36ers and four with the New Zealand Breakers, Forman arrived in Wollongong in 2010 and won the NBL’s most improved player award at the end of his first campaign with the Hawks.
He was part of the championship-winning Adelaide roster in his rookie year in 2002, played in 2012 All-Star game and in two grand final series for the Hawks.
In difficult circumstances, where the club was rescued by James Spenceley, less than a decade after the Hawks almost folded, Forman became an important figure in the future of the club, especially following the retirement of championship-winner Mat Campbell.
In an interview with the Mercury in 2015, as the Hawks had plunged into a voluntary administration process and coach Gordie McLeod left the club, Forman admitted his future had been uncertain.
“Thank you to the Illawarra community for the love and support over the last eight years, and for accepting me and my family as one of your own,” Forman wrote.
Forman praised the NBL for basketball’s resurgence in recent times, including the weekend announcement of a game between NBA stars and Boomers players in Melbourne next year.
“The NBL has given me such an enjoyable profession for so long. I'm impressed with its direction,” he wrote.
OSCAR FORMAN’S LETTER
“As a young kid shooting hoops in my driveway at home, I never imagined it would lead to a 17 season professional career in the NBL. I played because it was fun and exciting, and that held true for my entire career.
“The memories and friendships made along the way are what I am most thankful for; most importantly, my family who provided me with constant support, love and advice. Teammates, coaches, opponents, staff, owners, sponsors, fans and volunteers all helped shape my career during and long before I ever played in the NBL.
The NBL has given me such an enjoyable profession for so long. I'm impressed with its direction and excited to see the next generation of kids shooting on driveway hoops fulfil their dreams in a burgeoning league.
Thank you to the Illawarra community for the love and support over the last eight years, and for accepting me and my family as one of your own.”