Hawks Fans Treated To Huge Home Game Schedule for the 2021/22 NBL Season
Tuesday 12 October 2021 9:21am
The 2021-22 NBL schedule dropped today and Illawarra Hawks fans will be salivating over the home-game-happy first few months of the season, with 10 of the side's first 15 matches to be played at the WIN Entertainment Centre in Wollongong.
The Hawks will tip-off the new season with blockbuster road clashes against the SE Melbourne Phoenix and Sydney Kings before returning to Wollongong for seven straight home games. The home stand will begin against the NZ Breakers on Friday 17 December, and include a marquee New Years Eve match-up with arch-rivals - the Kings.
Among the 28 games across 21 rounds, Hawks fans will already be circling several heavyweight encounters as the club looks to claim it's second ever NBL championship.
On Sunday 13 February the Perth Wildcats will return to Wollongong in a rematch of last season's semi-final series, while defending champions, Melbourne United, will make the trip north on Monday 7 March. The NBL's newest franchise, the Tasmania JackJumpers will also play at the WIN Entertainment Centre for the first ever time on Thursday 17 March.
A massive rivalry weekend in Round Two will see the Hawks take on the Kings in the first of four 'Freeway Series' clashes this season. Illawarra Hawks Head Coach, Brian Goorjian, said this year's home schedule is extremely 'fan friendly' and will hopefully provide the team with a good springboard into the season.
"I know there was a lot of hype around the team last year with so many new faces and a new ownership group, but I can assure you, this season is going to be bigger and better. It's great to see four big clashes with our neighbours the Kings, we'll get to test ourselves away in some hostile environments, and we look forward to our crowd being that sixth man when opposition teams come into our building," Goorjian said.
"It's also great to see so many games spread across the weekend this season and hopefully that means more families and kids in particular can come down to our home games and really get behind this exciting young team," Goorjian said.
Illawarra Hawks captain, AJ Ogilvy, said the return of the NBL was a great reward for fans in the region after a tough few years.
"After months of being locked down, it's really exciting for the Illawarra to have so many home games over the Christmas and New Years period in particular. We are going to be a very exciting team again this year so it's great that our fans will get a good look at us early in the season. We know Hawks fans will bring the energy they always do and make the WIN Entertainment Centre an intimidating place to play. We can't wait to see everyone at home on December 17," Ogilvy said.
Other highlights for the Hawks season include:
- Four Sunday home games in family-friendly timeslots
- Four Friday night home games to kickstart your weekend
- A free-to-air feast with nine games live on 10 Peach
The JackJumpers have been given the honour of opening the season against the Adelaide 36ers at MyState Bank Arena in Hobart. The Perth Wildcats will also face the Brisbane Bullets at RAC Arena in Perth on opening night.
“While it’s only a few weeks later than we originally planned, the new start date gives us a greater level of comfort and flexibility as we navigate through the current environment and prioritise having our growing number of fans courtside around the country and in New Zealand,” NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said.
“The NBL is a fan-first product and playing in front of crowds is vital for the league and our clubs. Giving supporters an even better chance of seeing their teams compete at home was a key driver in moving things back slightly and in how we’ve structured the schedule," Loeliger said.
Details on a preseason tournament will be announced soon.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE HAWKS FULL 2021/22 NBL SCHEDULE