ILLAWARRA have added some much needed grunt to their front-court confirming the long speculated signing of Brian Conklin on Friday afternoon.
Conklin was first linked to the Hawks in May but after what the club descibed as a “prolonged negotiation period,” the club landed the former league MVP for the upcoming season.
The 28-year-old will join star centre AJ Ogilvy and returning veteran David Andersen in the front-court, with Hawks coach Rob Beveridge expecting the 6 ft 7 hardman to bring a physical presence to the low block.
“Conklin is an incredible player who is going to bring some legitimate toughness, rebounding and scoring to our front line,” Beveridge said.
“Brian comes from the St Louis pedigree and his uncompromising style of game will make him a fan favourite in the Gong.”
Conklin joins another former league MVP in Cedric Jackson at Hawks with former Townsville teammate Jordair Jett the other import on the roster.
Conklin averaged 18.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game for the 2014-15 season to claim the Andrew Gaze Trophy despite a tough season for the Crocs.
He was ultimately moved on by the now defunct north Queensland club in 2016 but has since won the Liga Nacional de Baloncesto (LBN) with Leones de Santo Domingo and guided Nanterre 92 to championships in both the French Cup and FIBA Europe Cup.
“We are really pleased to bring a former League MVP in Brian Conklin back to the NBL after playing in the top league in France for the past two years,” Hawks general manager Mat Campbell said.
“Being able to add two former League MVP’s to the roster is really exciting for the club. Brian is an incredibly hard-working player who will be a great leader for our younger players.”
Conklin joins a roster that includes Jackson, skipper Kevin White, AJ Ogilvy, Tim Coenraad and NBA veteran David Andersen, young-guns Daniel Grida and Emmett Naar and sharp-shooting Boomer swingman Todd Blanchfield.