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Isn't it Marvelle-ous

It took newly signed Illawarra import Marvelle Harris just one training session to be convinced he was a perfect fit for the revamped Hawks. Harris arrived in Australia last week as the club’s third import alongside fellow Americans Rotnei Clarke and Michael Holyfield. All three are expected to line up for the Hawks in Saturday night’s pre-season game against the Sydney Kings at the Beaton Park ‘Snakepit’ in Wollongong. Harris played with the New York Knicks in the 2016 Summer League after an excellent four-year career with Fresno State University. The 22-year-old from California averaged 20.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.2 steals in his senior year with the Bulldogs and holds the record as the school’s all-time leading scorer. Despite being overlooked in the NBA Draft in June, Harris remains confident he is NBA material. He had offers to play in Europe but chose to sign with the Hawks. It’s a decision he hasn’t regretted. “I’m excited to be here,” Harris said. “I’ve met the guys and I like the vibe about the team. The area’s nice, so it feels good to be here. “The Hawks have a great system that really works for me and my style of play. That was another reason why I chose to come here. We want to score the ball and pressure defensively, and with the guys we have and all the abilities it’s a great style to play. “As a player in college, your main goal is to play professionally, so to finally be able to do that is a blessing and I’m very humbled by it. “I had offers from Europe but it wasn’t really about the money. It’s more about the fit and me trying to make it to the NBA, so I chose the Hawks because I felt that was my best option to try and get where I want to go. “Everybody has different routes they have to take and I feel like I’m very capable of playing in the NBA, and playing here is another step for me to get there.” Standing 1.93m, the solidly built guard weighs close to 100kg and often uses his strength to overpower lighter opponents. Asked who he has modelled his game on, Harris says: “Like D-Wade and Lebron James, those players who can do a bit of everything. I can score the basketball, but I’m also capable of passing the ball, rebounding and playing defence. I like bringing all those things and being a complete player. “I can bring a lot of energy to this team. They’re a great scoring team and I think I can add to that defensively. I’m a physical guard so I can bring a little bit in every area for this team. “[Hawks] Coach Bevo [Rob Beveridge] has told me about the league and the physicality, but I guess I’m not going to really know until I play in that first game.” Like most imports heading to a foreign destination, Harris did some homework on the city he would be living in and the team he was joining. “I looked on the internet and saw that it was a nice area, right by the beach, so it’s good to have that home feeling being from California,” he said. “My apartment’s right in the middle of everything, the people are nice. I like everything about it. “Driving on a different side of the road was strange at first, but I’ve adjusted. And I’ve adjusted to the accent too. It’s English, so it’s all good.” The Hawks retained Rhys Martin, Kevin White, Oscar Forman, Cody Ellis, AJ Ogilvy and Tim Coenraad from the team that lost last season’s semifinal series against eventual champions Perth. In addition to the three imports, the club’s main off-season recruits were former Townsville duo Nick Kay and Mitch Norton. “It’s been disruptive with people coming in late because of other commitments, but I’m really excited about the group,” Beveridge said. “We’ve got a good balance and we’ve got some legitimate physical toughness this year. “We haven’t had a legitimate big like Holyfield. It’s been great watching him and AJ going at it at training. It’s going to make both of them better. “I will be playing Holyfield and AJ together at stages. AJ’s really working on his perimeter game in order to play that four-spot. “Harris is a stud and bringing Rotnei into our system will be good because he’ll like the freedom. “I like the look of our frontline in particular. There’s legitimate size and we’ve got our stretch fours in Oscar and Cody. “It could be a bit ugly to start off with, but that’s what preseason is about. “There’s a lot of good teams out there but I really like the side we’ve assembled and I’m extremely confident we’ll match it with anybody.”  
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