Illawarra may be struggling on the court, but off the court the NBL club's owners are broadening their reach in Asia.
In a statement on Friday, the Hawks confirmed majority owner Jared Novelly's Crest Sports and Entertainment is the lead investor in the burgeoning East Asia Super League.
Former and current NBA players, Baron Davis, Metta World Peace, Shane Battier and Jalen Green are among other investors in a US $40 million funding round.
EASL's first ever 'Champions Week' in March will pit the champions and runners-up from the top-tier leagues in Japan, Korea, the Philippines, China and Chinese Taipei against each other, including the Brian Goorjian-coached Bay Area Dragons.
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The program will be underpinned by EASL academies, with Novelly hoping to establish the first of them in Australia alongside the Hawks.
"East Asia Super League has built an unrivalled brand from scratch in a short time," Novelly said in a statement.
"Crest Sport and Entertainment have always taken a long-term approach with our management and plans for the Illawarra Hawks.
"We see opportunities such as the EASL and other sports and entertainment properties as pivotal investments in the franchise's long-term success.
"Establishing an EASL Academy in Australia will further strengthen the relationship and nurture the next generation of Asian/Pacific basketball talent."
Novelly, the Hawks majority owner, became sole director of the franchise in April after part-owner and former president of basketball operations Dorry Kordahi resigned from his directorship of the club.
Kordahi retains an ownership stake but has not attended home games this season amid reports of a fall-out with Novelly.
The family of late American businessman Michael Proctor also retains an ownership stake in the franchise.
The Hawks play the Cairns Taipans tonight.
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