ILLAWARRA Hawks coach Matt Flinn was blown away by the newly opened Shoalhaven Indoor Sports Centre when he first laid eyes on it on Tuesday.
Flinn and Hawks forward Daniel Grida visited the Shoalhaven this week, to help present the new stadium and Shoalhaven Basketball Association, in conjunction with Mincove Homes, with a $500 cheque - raised following a family fun day at South Nowra on November 23, which also included Hawks' Angus Glover and Sunday Dech.
"The Shoalhaven is a catchment area of ours and anything we can do to grow basketball in both Illawarra and its surrounding areas, it's definitely in our best interests," Flinn said.
"We [the Hawks] view ourselves as a multi-regional team, which is highlighted by us taking a game earlier in the year [November 3 against Brisbane] to Canberra.
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The facility impressed Flinn so much that he plans to bring training sessions and trial games to the Shoalhaven in the near future.
"I'd love to bring the boys down here [to the Shoalhaven] to train, especially as it's only 50 minutes down the road now, thanks to all those road improvements," he said.
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"It's such a great venue and it's part of our responsibility to grow basketball where we can.
"Hopefully we can bring another trial match down here (the last being on September 13 against Adelaide) - in my eyes, it's a no-brainer.
"As long as I'm the head coach of this program, my charter is to grow the sport in the region I grew up in - I have a real affinity with this area.
"It's important that all the Shoalhaven juniors get the chance to see professional basketballers first hand and see that there is an actual pathway for them in the sport.
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"Having grown up playing for NSW Country, if areas like the Shoalhaven are strong, generally the whole state program is in a good place."
The Hawks are also planning to get a NBL1 team up and running in the coming years, which Flinn hopes will be able to play some of their matches at the SISC too.