Sam Froling knows north Queensland like the back of his hand.
Born and raised in Townsville, the Illawarra rookie will head back to familiar territory when the Hawks fly north to face Cairns Taipans on Saturday night.
Froling's local knowledge could prove crucial as the Hawks look to rectify their flailing season.
The Hawks have just one win from eight starts in 2019/20, but that victory came against the Taipans in thrilling fashion - AJ Ogilvy drained a late free throw to secure an 89-88 win in Wollongong last month.
In fact, Illawarra has dominated the Taipans in recent history. You have to go back almost two years in the record books to find the last time Cairns took down the Hawks.
"But playing in Cairns is tough, it always has been," Froling said.
"I've seen plenty of games up there and watched them play on TV. Cairns are always good at home and they're a strong side this year so it should be a good game, but one we can definitely win.
"It will be pretty hot up there, which I'm looking forward to - I miss that north Queensland heat. Atmosphere wise, Cairns fans are pretty passionate and they love their basketball up there. I know them and Townsville had a bit of rivalry and that was always fun to watch.
"Hopefully I can bring a bit of that rivalry back with my Townsville connection."
Cairns are always good at home and they're a strong side this year so it should be a good game, but one we can definitely win.Sam Froling
However, the 19-year-old isn't guaranteed to play as he continues to recover from an ankle injury.
Froling was ruled out in the warm up to last Sunday's game against Brisbane Bullets after picking up the injury during the week.
The rookie had a MRI scan on Thursday morning and was awaiting results at the time of going to press.
"It's [ankle] a bit sore, I haven't trained over the last couple of days," he said.
"Mum and Dad are going up to the game... so hopefully I can get on the floor, if not it will be good to see them anyway.
"I know a lot of people up there and they're super excited about the game."
Despite pressure mounting on the Hawks, who have lost their past five straight games, Froling said the players had refused to drop their heads this week.
"The vibe at the club is good, we believe we can win pretty much every game," he said.
"It hasn't happened too much yet, but the belief is there and we'll start to string some [wins] together."
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