HAWKS youngster Angus Glover has endured some dark times, but he’s had support from some unlikely sources through a horrific three-year run with injury.
Still just 20, the flame-haired guard has undergone three knee reconstructions in as many years, stalling a junior career that had piqued the interest of NBA clubs.
It was at the 2017 Nike Hoops Summit that he first suffered an ACL tear to his left knee, his second having suffered the same injury to his right knee 18 months earlier. Glover admits it was a bitter pill.
“The was probably the hardest time, I was obviously playing in front of a lot of NBA scouts and coaches,” Glover recalls.
“It put me on the map a bit in terms of getting my name out there and showing what I could do against the rest of the world.
“I really thought I was playing my best ever basketball up until that moment. To come down with that was devastating.
“It was tough to deal with. I had surgery a couple of days later and I just tried to get back on the horse.”
It was soured even further when he slipped on a wet floor, re-tearing the ACL and requiring another reconstruction. That was even tougher to cop, but the former junior Boomer found support from some high-profile backers.
“I’m an AFL fan so seeing guys like Daniel Menzel and Alex Johnson go through four or six ACL reconstructions and still come back shows that I can come back from three,” he said.
“I got a message off Dan Menzel after I tore this last one just saying ‘hang in there’ and stuff like that. It was a nice gesture, he didn’t have to do that. Compared to him I’m basically a no one so it really meant a lot.
“I’ve had people from other clubs contact me as well. I had Delly [Matthew Dellavedova] message me after the Hoops Summit last year.
“I’ve heard from people around the league, [Perth captain] Damian Martin and [Melbourne star] Chris Goulding as well. It was pretty nice to get some messages off them when I’m really a nobody in the league.
“Next year it’ll be a different story, I’m going to go out and try to beat them, but I’m very thankful for them sending me those messages.”
While the setbacks were career-threatening, the Illawarra junior never doubted he’d have a home with the Hawks or a future in the NBL.
It’s a faith that runs both ways with the club locking him down on a two-year deal from next season, confident he will realise his star potential.
“The clubs’ basically been on the journey with me,” he said.
“I’ve always loved the game, it’s kind of my happy place. I play because I love it. I haven’t had a particularly dark moments because the team and club is so tight.
“I’m still in rehab now but to get that contract during rehab means a lot to me and shows the club has a lot of faith in me.
“I’m six months post-op now so I’m right on track. I just can’t wait to get out there and pay it back.”
Hawks general manager Mat Campbell is aware some will view the long-term commitment as a gamble, but said the decision was a “no-brainer.”
“Some people see it as a gamble, I see it as an opportunity,” Campbell said.
“Unfortunately he’s had a couple of injuries here and there that have kept him off the big stage. Without that he’d have had a couple of years under his belt already.
“To get the opportunity to lock him up for a couple of years was really a no-brainer. He’s got lots of talent and good potential and he’s come through the ranks here in the Illawarra.
“We want to give him the chance to play in front of his home crowd for the Hawks. It’s part of why we’re here, we want to encourage local kids in the community to have heroes and aspire to be an NBL player.
“He’s an example of what the Hawks have been trying to achieve for so long.”