The Hawks franchise team have signed up former Boomer David Barlow for the New Zealand National Basketball League season tipping off late this month.
Barlow is a two-time Australian Olympian and helped his Melbourne United team claim the Australian NBL crown last Saturday night.
Taylor Hawks coach Zico Coronel is looking forward to what the 34-year-old power forward will bring to the equation.
"The four is a very important position in determining how well a team plays as a group and, in David Barlow, we have a veteran player who plays with the efficient functioning of his team at the forefront of his mind," Coronel said of the player who stands at 2.03m.
"He is a willing passer and is very efficient in his use of the shot clock. He is also an excellent perimeter shooter which will aid us in spreading the defence out.
"Most importantly Barlow is a very knowledgeable team defender who does a lot of subtle but critical movements that are necessary in order to get stops. He is also a capable and versatile individual defender," he said, before the Hawks play the Southland Sharks in a 7pm tip off at the Pettigrew-Green Arena, Taradale, on April 26.
Barlow delivered many clutch moments, including a dagger three in game one to help eliminate the SkyCity New Zealand Breakers in the semifinal series.
In the five-game finals series victory (3-2) over the Adelaide 36ers, Barlow averaged 17 minutes, 6.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and shot 10 from 17 from the three-point line.
He is no stranger to championship glory, having enjoyed an illustrious career spanning multiple continents and numerous titles, beginning as a junior in Melbourne with the Sandringham Sabres club and Sandringham College.
In 2002-03 he moved to the United States to attend Metro State University in Denver, a NCAA Division II powerhouse with a rich pipeline of Australian talent including the likes of Nick Kay (previously of the Southland Sharks) and Mitch McCarron (previously of the Supercity Rangers). While he was in Denver he played for coach Mike Dunlap, previously of the Adelaide 36ers, who would later go on to coach the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats.
Upon returning to Australia, Barlow signed with the Sydney Kings, who were at that time under the guidance of legendary coach Brian Goorjian. There Barlow won two Australian NBL championships in 2004 and 2005. He would add a third with the Melbourne Tigers in 2008.
During this time Barlow's exceptional contributions to winning teams saw him earn regular national team selection, following his debut for the Australian Boomers in 2006.
Barlow would also head abroad, signing with Zaragoza in Spain, where he helped them to a LEB Oro (Spanish Second League) championship in 2010. He went on to sign with UCAM Murcia in the Spanish ACB (First League), arguably the best domestic league in the world outside of the NBA.
Barlow also played for Stelmet Zielona Gora in Poland and would later return to the Spanish ACB for a short stint with Obradoiro.
Barlow rejoined Melbourne in 2014 and has been a crucial veteran presence as the club has navigated its way back to the top of the Australian NBL ladder.
Barlow will be no stranger to his Taylor Hawks teammates as he joins fellow Australian NBL players Jarrod Kenny, Mitch Newton and fellow Aussie import Angus Brandt as well as former Australian NBL players Everard Bartlett, Dion Prewster and current Tall Black Ethan Rusbatch in the Bay. In addition the Taylor Hawks have Kareem Johnson and Hyrum Harris on board.
Others in the squad are Kaleb Edwards, Nick Fee, Reuben Fitzgerald, Nikau Joyce, Jaxson MacFarlane, Ravi Mani, Dominic McGovan and Pete Wilkie.