The Hawks have taken another step towards shoring up their roster for the NBL24 season, announcing the addition of point guard Biwali Bayles on Thursday morning.
Bayles, a product of the Centre of Excellence and Australian national junior programs, will land in Wollongong on a development deal. After a successful freshman season at the University of Hawaii, the 21-year-old is now ready to reignite his NBL career, having previously played with the Kings in 2021.
He will add depth to Illawarra head coach Jacob Jackomas's guard rotation of Justin Robinson, Tyler Harvey, Will Hickey and Next Star AJ Johnson.
Bayles joins Wollongong junior Harry Morris as development players for the Hawks' NBL24 campaign. The signing means that Illawarra now have two remaining roster spots and two development player positions open for the upcoming season, which tips off in late September.
"I am excited to join the Hawks and am thankful to (club general manager) Mat (Campbell), Jacob and the club for providing me the opportunity to develop my game further here in the Illawarra," Bayles said.
"I have a long-standing relationship with members of the coaching staff, and hearing of their plans for the new season, it was clear that this is where I wanted to be.
"The chance to learn from and compete with elite guards like Justin and Tyler is a welcome one, and I look forward to arriving in Wollongong and getting to work with the group."
Campbell welcomed the addition of Bayles to their roster, saying that he had a "skill set that we know can help us in the NBL24 season".
"We are excited to add another unique talent and prospect to our program," he said.
"The club continues to build an exciting on-court group for next season, and Bayles' defensive intensity and competitiveness will see him become a fan favourite with the Hawks faithful."
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