The Wollongong Hawks have signed former University of Miami guard Lance Hurdle to a one-year contract for the 2012-13 NBL season. The 25-year-old will fill a backcourt spot left vacant by Mat Campbell’s retirement. Picture: GETTY IMAGESThe Wollongong Hawks have come across a hurdle in the search for a new import – literally.
American guard Lance Hurdle has signed a one-year contract with the Hawks for the 2012-13 NBL season and is due to arrive in town on Sunday.
The 25-year-old guard is expected to fill the void in the starting line-up after former captain Mat Campbell retired at the end of last season.
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‘‘We’re excited to have Lance arrive in Wollongong shortly and join our team this season,’’ Wollongong coach Gordie McLeod said.
‘‘He’s a player that we see positive upside in and a player that can develop his game here in Australia,’’ McLeod said.
Standing 188cm, Hurdle completed his college career with the University of Miami in 2009 and has spent the past three seasons playing for the Springfield Armour in the NBA Development League.
His best position is shooting guard but McLeod believes he is also capable of switching to point guard.
Hurdle has a reputation as a scorer and his signing gives the Hawks another good three-point marksman.
‘‘We think this is a real good opportunity here with the Hawks for Hurdle and his playing style,’’ McLeod said.
‘‘Once Lance gets settled in with the team and our structures, we think his skill set and style of play will really complement our current group.
‘‘He can get up and down the court pretty quick, he’s athletic, a quality shooter and our fans will enjoy watching him compete every night.’’
Hurdle is eager to get started with his new club.
‘‘I’m excited about the chance to come out and play for coach McLeod and the Wollongong Hawks,’’ he said.
‘‘I think this is a great program to be a part of and will be a good fit for my style of play.
‘‘This will be my first professional experience outside of the US and from what I’ve heard so far of Wollongong, the fans get behind the team and it’s going to be a great place to be.
‘‘I’m really looking forward to flying out soon, meeting all the guys on the team and putting the hard work in on the court.’’
The Hawks are close to adding a second American guard, and also on the verge of finalising the playing roster with the imminent signing of an Australian forward. Wollongong take on the Sydney Kings in a trial at Gosford tomorrow night.
Birthplace: San Diego, California
Career college stats: 7.6 points per game, 2.6 assists, 1.8 rebounds
NBA D-League 2011-12 stats: 13.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.4 steals, 35% 3-pt
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