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Oscar Forman's Hawks vision

Under their old name, a new coach and a fresh line-up, a consistent face to the Hawks has been their captain Oscar Forman, who has proved himself to be one of the most durable players in the NBL. Forman and the Illawarra Hawks closed Round 3 yesterday, with a narrow 106-99 loss to the Perth Wildcats, placing them fourth on the ladder with a 2-3 record to start the new season. Coming off a frustrating 2014/15 campaign which yielded six wins from 28 games and the second wooden spoon in the club’s 36-year history, Rob Beveridge took the coaching reins from Gordie McLeod and has implemented entirely new offensive and defensive systems. ‘’It’s a different era. Gordie’s era was great for us and Bevo’s era looks like it’s going to be great for us. It’s very exciting with the group of guys we’ve got,” said Forman. ‘’It’s not a disrespect to Gordie. That new sense of excitement always happens when there’s a change of direction or change of infrastructure. It’s just a natural thing when there’s a change. ‘’We have to renew and build our focus for a new system and learn new things. ‘’The biggest thing is that everyone involved this year is very positive. I wouldn’t say last year was negative, but this year we’re all on the same page with the same dreams and goals.” The sharpshooting forward had chalked up 420 games entering this season – averaging out to be exactly 30 games a year since he debuted with the Adelaide 36ers in 2001. Turning 34 in January, Forman has remained largely injury-free throughout his career and built a reputation as one of the NBL’s all-time great three-point shooters. Forman has always taken pride in backing up night after night. ‘’I was talking to Laz [teammate Larry Davidson] the other day about how it’s difficult for people that aren’t in this industry to understand our workload, and they think we have it easy,’’ he said. ‘’You can be in a normal job for decades, whereas the average career span for a basketballer is seven years. I’ve done double that and I’m still going, so that’s something to be proud of.’’ Blessed with good genes, Forman barely looks a day over 30 and if he continues his form, will continue to rain down threes till he’s 40. ‘’There’s a lot that goes into being an elite athlete,’’ he said. ‘’It’s not training two or three hours a day and then you’re done. There’s a whole range of things away from the court that you have to take care of and be committed to. ‘’Sometimes it’s 30 degrees outside and you just want to go and lie on the beach, but then you remember you have a game the next day and you can’t be in the sun too long or you drain your energy levels. ‘’There’s a lot of things I don’t do now that I did when I was younger, and by the same token there’s things I do now that I didn’t do back then in terms of looking after myself.’’ Forman has gradually developed his game over the years and is one of the League’s more well-rounded forwards. But, three-point shooting is what he will always be remembered for. In 14 seasons, the proud Adelaide boy has finished as the League’s most accurate three-point marksman on five occasions. Forman’s secret to playing at a high level for so long is simple. ‘’A lot of it is actually just enjoying the game,’’ he said. ‘’I think a lot of players finish because of injuries or how their body feels, compared to how much they’re still enjoying themselves, and the balance tips the wrong way. ‘’By the end of the season, it becomes a grind and it’s tough. You are around the same people all the time and hearing a lot of the same things ‘’With me, I’ve only got a certain amount of basketball in me each year, so I make sure I have my time off and come home hungry and love it again. The longer I am on holiday, I do find I’m wanting to get back and I look forward to getting back into the grind at training. ‘’It’s the only job I’ve ever had I really appreciate what I do for a living. It’s why I stay around for every photograph and autograph after games, because we don’t get to have this life for long and I certainly don’t take it for granted.’’ The Illawarra Hawks will open Round 4 on Wednesday when they visit the Townsville Crocodiles, before heading west to face the Perth Wildcats in a Halloween Spectacular on Saturday night.  
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