They came, they saw and they partied like it was 2001.
The 20th anniversary of the Hawks' 2001 National Basketball League championship was suitably celebrated as part of the Hawks versus Sydney clash at the WEC on Saturday night.
All but US-based imports Charles Thomas and Matt Garrison made it "home" for the occasion.
Celebrations started at the Novotel on Saturday afternoon, were highlighted by some incredible on-court presentations at the game and wound down in the early hours of Sunday morning at the Steelers club.
"It was unbelievable to get back together," 2001 co-captain and legend Mat Campbell said on Sunday.
"It was the first time we've been together since we won it, so it was pretty awesome to catch up and reminisce.
"What the Hawks did for us was great, it was a great crowd and while unfortunately we didn't get the win it was a special evening."
The team actually Facetimed Thomas and Garrison in the US from their pre-game drinks at the Novotel.
"It was 2.30 in the morning for Charles and midnight for Matt so that was pretty amazing," Campbell said.
"We've all made a commitment that we would do it again in another five years rather than wait another 20 years.
"You kind of take it for granted. When we won we were young and didn't know any better, but when you back and reflect on it now .... it sinks in now more about what it means than it did at the time."
As well as the presentations of the players and coach staff, a highlight of the night came when the Hawks asked Damon Lowery to hit three free throws like he did at the end of the semi-final in 2001 for the Hawks to make the grand final.
History repeated as he made all three.
"Making those free throws was amazing," Campbell said of the re-enactment.
"What people wouldn't realise is that last night he was in the bathroom almost throwing up with, um, let's say nerves before that.
"Then the first free throw hit the rim and went in, you couldn't script that. I had him at 100-1 to make those free throws."
The 2001 championship team consisted of: Mat Campbell, Glen Saville, Axel Dench, Luke Doherty, Matt Garrison, Grant Kruger, Damon Lowery, Matt Shanahan, Melvin Thomas, Charles Thomas, Kane Riley-Henderson, Josh Woods. Coach: Brendan Joyce. Assistants: Eric Lowe, Eric Cooks. General manager: Chuck Harmison.
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