At 8am, Simon Stratford was cleaning out his office at the Snakepit.
Three parties had been involved in discussions with the NBL about taking over from Stratford, whose financial struggles had reached a tipping point before the COVID-19 crisis took hold.
One of them was Sydney Kings owner Paul Smith, who in Wednesday's Mercury revealed he'd offered to take control of the Hawks, only to be knocked back by the league.
By Thursday, Stratford was finalising the terms of his departure as the NBL was already moving on, keen to seal a potentially game-changing deal with Ball and manager Jermaine Jackson, involving a prominent Wollongong businessman.
The negotiations have a two-week window to be signed off, but barring a remarkable turn of events, will result in Ball's team overseeing basketball and recruitment operations.
It will help the Hawks and the NBL open doors in the NBA, as the league seeks to capitalise on the recent boom of the sport domestically and profile in the US.
Stratford's control had been crumbling for months, as financial pressure mounted, long before the international sporting shutdown had hit and the Mercury has learned he had spoken to two parties about taking over the licence in recent months.
Smith, who comes from the South Coast, had mapped out a vision for the future.
It was rejected, as revealed in Thursday's Mercury, because of NBL owner Larry Kestelman's reservations about having one person essentially in charge of two clubs in the same state.
Another bid, rumoured to be led by a former NBA and Boomers veteran, came into the picture in the past fortnight, but the Ball interest was always too tempting for the NBL.
The Mercury understands the contracts at the club will become null-and-void, wiping the slate clean for the new owners, with staff expected to remain stood down during the worldwide COVID-19 crisis.
Once the details of Stratford's exit and the remaining debt resolved, Ball's ownership group will be tasked with leading the Hawks back from the brink again.
Illawarra finished 5-23 last season, at the foot of the NBL ladder, even as the point guard registered two triple doubles in the 12 games he played before leaving for the US prematurely due to a foot injury.