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American Holyfield adds muscle to Hawks

The Illawarra Hawks have signed towering American centre Michael Holyfield as their second import player for the upcoming NBL season. Holyfield is the fourth new face to be added to the Hawks 16/17 roster. At 211cm and 122kg, Holyfield will add the ‘muscle’ the Hawks were missing last season and is set to play a pivotal supporting roll to ALL-NBL First Team Centre AJ Ogilvy. The 23-year-old is thrilled to be coming to the Illawarra. “I’m excited to be heading to Wollongong to represent the Illawarra Hawks. I’ve heard great things about the club and the region so I can’t wait to get over there and meet my new team mates,” said Holyfield. “I spoke with Coach Beveridge when he was over here in the States and I believe I can bring the toughness and rebounding presence the team is after...but I’ll do anything needed to give the team the best chance of winning." [ooyala code="RqODE5NTE6zDUdxffFqOh12tAeL43W7g" player_id="d5b993422b3e4b5ebd61f9e19ca2a6a5" width="500" height="400" auto="false"] Holyfield played college basketball at Sam Houston State, averaging 5.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. In his senior year, he set the school’s single-season record for blocks (86) on his way to being named the 2015 Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year. More recently, he represented the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the D-League, while previously having a short stint on the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies roster. It was his size, toughness and defensive ability that first caught the eye of Hawks assistant coach Eric Cooks. “We felt Holyfield was the perfect fit to anchor the middle when AJ is off the court." “He is a past defensive player of the year in the southland conference and will bring a level of toughness to our play. He has also proven to be a very good rebounder and passer out of the post” said Cooks. “We are very excited to welcome Michael into the Hawks' nest." Michael Holyfield was born on November 18, 1992 in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he attended Manzano High School, before heading to college at Sam Houston State. Holyfield will arrive in Wollongong later this week.  
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