Lachlan Dent is an Illawara-born guard who has recently signed as a Development Player with the Hawks NBL team. After consistent hard work and two opportunities to play for the Hawks as a replacement player last year, Dent is keen to make his mark on the club and push for more game time in 2021.
Being a local, how does it feel securing your first contract with the Hawks?
Growing up in Wollongong and playing basketball meant that I was a pretty avid Hawks fan. I still remember going to games with my family, sitting in bay 13 and cheering on the likes of Kavossy Franklin and Tyson Demos. To say that it has been a dream to get a Hawks jersey with my name on it is pretty accurate.
This year we have seen a new ownership group come into the Hawks. How has the transition been?
The change in ownership has been great. I can remember back to 2009 when the Hawks last went into voluntary administration yet being more apart of this current changeover, it has felt a lot more personal. At first it was quite scary, as I had found myself having to expand from a very comfortable situation where I had good relationships over many years and into an environment where those types of relationships had to be recreated. Although it was daunting, I felt if I backed myself and worked my butt off, I would put myself in the best position to get an opportunity.
Playing for a basketball legend like Brian Gorjian has been met with excitement for the Hawks this upcoming season. How has this impacted you?
Coach Gorjian is incredible. He most definitely lives up to the legend that is behind his name. He has so much knowledge and has coached so many elite level players that it is almost impossible not to learn something from him. Having him on the sidelines, passionately celebrating when you make a big play is something that is very cool. He provides so much belief in his players and staff that creates such a buzz of excitement to be able to play basketball.
How are you feeling about the unknown of NBL21 with COVID hanging over the season?
The unknown of the season is a bit tough. There is a lot of talk that seems to change daily around what the exact plan looks like. In saying that, we do get to play basketball with a group of boys who do get along very well. (Written in December 2020)
How do you feel the team is coming together with so many new faces?
I am super excited about what we can achieve as a group. We get along super well not only on the court but off the court too. There is a really good feeling around the group. Each day we just try to improve individually as well as together and we seem to be coming along very nicely heading into the season.
What do you feel is your biggest opportunity this season?
Personally, I feel as if my biggest opportunity this year is to learn of some really high-quality guys. Starting at the top with coach, as spoken about before he is just so high quality and willing to develop our young group. The assistant coaches that he has placed around him have had loads of experience in so many different leagues and work super hard on our individual development. Along with the coaches, the players that are on the team have played all over the world and are very willing to share their knowledge.
Tell us how you first got into Basketball and what your junior pathway was?
I first got into basketball when I was really young. I was the water boy for my Dad’s school team that he coached. From there, I moved away from the sport a little bit and played more soccer and cricket. However when I was about 9 years old I filled in for a local school team, ended up loving the game and then trialed for the Illawarra Hawks junior rep side. Throughout my junior career I was lucky to play in multiple national championships where I was able to travel Australia and play some very high-level players. I also got selected in the U17 Australian World Championships team where we travelled to Spain in 2016. When junior basketball was completed, I decided that I would like to try something new and had a year with the Sydney Swans Academy. This experience led me to play a few NEAFL games and a U18s national’s game. Missing basketball a little bit, I completed the year of footy before heading back into basketball, training with the Hawks for the 2018/19 season. The following year I remained a training player before getting the call up to play 2 games, filling in for some of the many injuries that the club had that year.
What advice would you give young Lachy?
Looking back on my journey, I would love to go back and tell myself to be super grateful for the opportunities that I was given, as they do not happen to everyone. Once in senior basketball, I would say to just believe in yourself and your ability and don’t be afraid to fail, because you will only ever learn once you do.