The Illawarra Hawks are proud to announce the re-signing of long-time Hawk and current co-captain, Oscar Forman, for the upcoming 2017/18 NBL season.
Returning for his eighth season with the club, the ninth most capped Hawk of all time returns for another tilt at the NBL title. The signing confirms an almost identical roster to the one that graced the sandpit last season.
Forman sat down with hawks.com.au earlier in the week to discuss his new deal, as well as the milestones he is in line for as the season progresses.
Asked whether it was always his intention to return, Forman was quick to reveal he never had another option in mind.
“It was always my plan to play on,” Forman continued.
“I never indicated at all that I was going to retire this year.
“I don’t really believe in age is what signifies an end of career; I think it’s your performance and it’s your body.
“I think I keep in pretty good nick and I think I still perform where I can give something to the team.”
Proficient from behind the arc last season, Forman led the side in 3-point shooting percentage. In doing so, he has now scored the third most 3-pointers of any Hawk, shooting at a prolific 43.86% – the best of any Hawk attempting 200 or more 3-point shots.
How does he keep so consistent? It’s a quality over quantity approach, backed up by one of the best in the business.
“I have routines down pat,” said Forman.
“Rather than going and shooting a volume of shots that aren’t quality shots, to keep my skills I shoot less but make sure they’re quality and that keeps me on top of it.
“A couple of years ago (in 2014) I went over to a company called P3, who do the NBA combine now.
“I went there for a week or so and trained and it was really eye opening in regards to how they do things and the science behind it.
“They try and work on improving deficiencies, how your mechanics work and it was interesting.
“At that time Kyle Korver was working out there and I chatted to him a bit, and he said he never shoots a massive volume of shots.
“He’ll shoot a specific amount of shots or whatever he feels he needs rather than hundreds and hundreds of shots on a day.
“He’s shooting game shots, he’s shooting tempo shots and shots he’s going to get in a game because that’s what’s going to matter.
“That was reassuring to me that I was doing something similar, if one of the best in the world is doing it then it’s okay for me.”
Renowned for his physical conditioning, Forman credited his ability to look after his body as another reason he has achieved such longevity in the game.
Additionally, opting not to chase off-season game time, as many NBL players do, has Forman fit, firing and hungry when the NBL season comes around.
“I’ve played with a number of people and everyone’s body is different,” said Forman.
“I guess with me I’ve taken the last few off seasons off.
“I travel and I clear my mind and make sure I have the desire and the burning passion for basketball when the season starts, rather than feeling burnt out.”
With the re-signing confirming an almost identical roster to the one that fell just short of an NBL title in 2016/17, Forman believes there is a huge opportunity to do something special this season.
“It builds on and carries over, you carry a bit of momentum,” he said.
“You look at the New Zealand’s or the Perth’s, they just have that core together and if you can bring everyone back, you just tweak a couple of things.
“I’m very happy about that. You have guys who are going to get better from playing together, guys who are going to get better from being in the league longer, guys who are going to get better from being comfortable with the system and with what we do.
“You’re not being surprised by anyone, you know what everyone does on court and it will be getting a couple of new guys to speed.
“When you have a good team you hope it stays together and it never does, so this is a rare opportunity where it pretty much has largely stayed together.
“In terms of leadership, one of the best parts of a returning group is there isn’t the need for so many words.”
One of the more dangerous offensive weapons in the history of the NBL, Forman is in line to play his 500th NBL game this season. Reflecting on his career to date, he revealed what it means to be a part of the clubs history and his reasons for staying on for so many years.
“Coming to Wollongong was a very important decision for me, not only for where I’m living and where I’m going to raise my child, but also to realise the importance that Soup (Mat Campbell) and Sav (Glen Saville) had in the club,” said Forman.
“Those guys were the ultimate professionals; they were working on their games when everyone else was sitting down. To follow on from them, it does amaze me whenever I sit down and think about it.
“It’s the same as when I looked the other day at where I am on the all-time played list and the people I’m amongst. It’s not somewhere I deserve to be to be honest, those names are guys that I idolised growing up.”
“The reason I’ve stayed here is the community and the beach,” Forman continued.
“I live a few minutes walk from the beach and go as often as I can.
“I think it’s great for your body and great for your mind and the community is amazing and such a strength here.
“I’ve seen people move on from situations like this and then really regret it and feel lost. People go and chase bigger money and places and lose that lifestyle.
“I would hate to go to a bigger city and bigger club and get lost in the importance of the role in the community. I walk to games and people shout out good luck or people wind down their window and yell out and its those little things that make you realise you’re involved in a such a strong community.”