It's a different but seemingly familiar looking flock of Hawks preening their feathers with the Hawke's Bay franchise basketball team this year.

"It's a great recipe of older guys and young ones," said franchise general manager Jay Bratschi of the 17-member squad who will fly under the new team sponsorship banner of Indigo Hawks in the National Basketball League (NBL) when it tips off from March 10.

At face value, yes, but at closer scruntiny it's a little more complex.

Simplistically, it's a combination of predominantly a crop of Bay's favourites sons returning and a cluster of homeboys, with the odd new faces promising a modicum of freshness.


Returning to roost from a mediocre 2015 season are Paora Winitana, Alonzo Burton, Darryl Jones, Luke Aston, Mataeus Marsh, Wilfred Dickson and Jaxson Macfarlane.

Add to that blasts from the past - Aidan Daly, Arthur Trousdell, Kareem Johnson, Ravi Mani - and you start getting a better idea of Bratschi's ingredients for that great recipe.

Throw in guards Joe Blas, Willie Stinnett, both of Guam, and Matt Te Huna, of Manawatu, and comeback Hawks coach Kirstin Daly-Taylor's template for winter starts reflecting the desired characteristics for her five-year tenure.

Daly-Taylor, who former franchise owner Jeremy Bayliss claims was fulltime Hawks coach when AJ Majstrovich broke his wrist for the closing part of the season, has also included Bay academy players Preston Tatana and Dominic McGovan.

Daly and new US import Chris Porter will be co-captains, assuming the mantle from Winitana, who finished last season as player/coach.

"Paora is recently signed so those decisions [pertaining to captaincy] were made a while back so we're moving along," Bratschi said last night when asked if Winitana was not interested in leading the team anymore.

Asked why the former Tall Black, who won't play for almost a third of the season when the Hawks tip off in their opener against the Wellington Saints in Napier on Sunday, March 13, because of his religious beliefs, was late in signing, Bratschi put it down to "no real reason" before revealing the parties had "some historical things that needed to be taken care of".

He didn't elaborate on what those historial matters were.

"We're good and everyone's on the same page," he said, emphasising that was imperative for any franchise and its team to acquire if they wanted to operate as a cohesive unit.

The presence of old and new "locals", he said, was in keeping with what the new management had talked about when staving off rumours of Hawks not entering the NBL this year.

The bigger picture was to ensure the under-13 reps came through a well-trodden pathway to slip on the Hawks singlets.

"Ten years from now we want them as 23-year-olds starring in your team."

He lauded the NBL policy that allowed for Pacific Islanders, such as the Guam pair, to nurture their talent here.

"We're right here. If they [islanders] are not keen on rugby then we've got basketball talent here for them," he said, revealing Pacific Islanders are expempt from NBL's clauses pertaining to imports.

Bratschi said the franchise was making the first game a gold-coin donation affair "to pack out the nest".

Jarrod Kenny, Marcos Alexander and Morgan Natanahira are the notable absentees from 2015.

2016 roster:

* Luke Aston.
* Joe Blas.
* Alonzo Burton.
* Wilfred Dickson.
* Aidan Daly.
* Darryl Jones.
* Kareem Johnson.
* Jaxson Macfarlane.
* Dominic McGovan.
* Ravi Mani.
* Mataeus Marsh.
* Chris Porter.
* Willie Stinnett.
* Preston Tatana.
* Matt Te Huna.
* Arthur Trousdell.
* Paora Winitana.