After showing his talent at the NBL Next Gen camp, the Illawarra Hawks are banking on unearthing the next Australian star by signing young guard Daniel Grida. Adding another piece to the puzzle before announcing their imports, the Hawks have signed a combination guard to join captain Kevin White after the exit of Mitch Norton to Perth.
“We are super excited to be able to bring Daniel into our team,” Hawks coach Rob Beveridge said.
“Daniel is a very talented and a highly sought-after guard who played at the Centre of Excellence for the past 2 seasons.
“Daniel is an athletic scoring guard who can play either the two or three spots where he led with 16.4 points, four rebounds and shot the three-point shot at 39%.
“Daniel is an incredible competitor and is one of the hardest working young players I have seen in many years and am sure that he will be very well received by the Illawarra fans.”
The Hawks have now signed AJ Ogilvy, US College talent Emmett Naar, Olympian and Melbourne United championship player David Andersen, White and Tim Coenraad, after Norton and Nick Kay walked out to join the Wildcats and Oscar Forman retired.
They’ve also secured Todd Blanchfield, the 200cm swingman from Sydney, on a three-year deal and it is rumoured Jordair Jett could be the club’s next signing.
Grida said he was indebted to the Hawks for providing him an opportunity, 20 years after Andersen had the same chance with the Hawks.
“To be signed in the NBL means everything to me, to sign as a pro is everything I have worked towards.” Grida said.
“I have a respect for the work ethic of the Illawarra Hawks, there is so much passion for basketball in the Illawarra and I can’t wait to be a part of that.”
Grida’s graduation from the Australian Institute of Sport to the elite ranks comes as the Hawks continue negotiations about playing at least one game in Canberra next season.
Rhys Martin and Cody Ellis remain free agents, as the Hawks look into the international markets.