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Hawthorn partner with new South East Melbourne Phoenix NBL franchise

Hawthorn Football club CEO Justin Reeves says the partnership between his club and the newest NBL franchise – South East Melbourne Phoenix is a great opportunity to grow basketball in the region.

The agreement has seen a management services agreement signed with the club, with the Hawks to also provide a shared service model for all Financial, Human Resource and Information Technology activities.

The new franchise will be coached by former Melbourne United assistant Simon Mitchell, while Tommy Greer will be the franchise’s CEO.

Reeves has told Macquarie Sports Radio Afternoons it was an opportunity worth taking.

“I think quite publicy last year we were interested and in discussions with the NBL around the possibility of a new team,” Reeves said.

“With us being so heavily focused on the eastern and south-eastern suburbs and basketball has been such a stronghold there, so it made sense for us to get involved.

“Through those discussions we were introduced to Romie who’s the new owner.

“He didn’t have a big infrastructure or set up here.

“We run a professional sports organisation out here already and we said well how about we get together and we can provide some of the back end to hopefully bring the Phoenix to life pretty quickly and we’re really excited about it.”

It’s been a huge week of the Phoenix with Australian basketball star Mitch Creek unveiled as the franchise’s first marquee signing.

Creek starred for the Adelaide 36ers before trialling with the Brooklyn Nets and will be a huge asset for the new franchise.

The deal is reportedly for two years, with a player option for a third, while an NBA-out clause has also been included.

Creek currently plays in the G-League with the Long Island Nets where he is averaging 14.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists across 10 matches.

The Phoenix will turn out in a bright green and ash grey uniform when they enter the NBL next season.

The agreement continues to promote partnerships across different sports – following the likes of the Collingwood and the GWS Giants Football clubs also fielding teams in the Super Netball series.

While sport in south east Melbourne is also on the rise with the potential for a new franchise to be included in the A-League’s proposed expansion.


Listen to the full interview below: