NBL Hawks sign American sharp-shooter Tyler Harvey

The Hawks have secured the first import of the franchise's Brian Goorjian era, signing American sharp-shooter Tyler Harvey for the 2020-21 NBL season.

Harvey, 27, most recently played for Ratiopharm Ulm in the Basketball Bundesliga, which came after a successful stint with the Memphis Hustle in the NBA G-League.

The 6'4 guard averaged 16.9 points and 3.7 assists per game for the Memphis Grizzlies' G-League affiliate over the 2018-19 season, while shooting an impressive 44.1 percent from behind the three-point line. The highlight of the California-native's season was a 58-point game in February of 2019.

While Harvey has hovered on the fringes of the NBA -- selected with the 51st overall pick in the 2015 draft -- he says he's been watching the growth of the NBL from afar.

"My eyes have always been on the NBL," Harvey said.

"I've heard nothing but great things about it. Playing for a great coach, a great organisation, so I felt like it was the right move for my wife and I, and for my basketball career to take this opportunity.

"After talking with (Goorjian), it seemed like the right fit for me to play for the winningest coach in Australian sports history, how often can you do that?

"They got Mr. Colangelo there as well, he is well respected in the States and everywhere. I was brought this opportunity and it was hard to pass up. I feel like this year is really going to help me grow as a player and as a person."

The Hawks, which dropped the 'Illawarra' portion of its moniker after a change in ownership, are coming off the signing of elite Australian wing, Deng Adel, among a host of other local signings.

Harvey will join Adel, Emmett Naar, Deng Deng, Dan Grida, Deng Adel, Sam Froling, and Isaac White on Goorjian's roster for the upcoming Australian season.

"We are delighted to welcome Tyler to The Hawks as the club's first import signing for the new season," Goorjian, a six-time NBL Coach of the Year, said.

"Tyler's scoring and shooting attributes are well known across the world and we believe he can make an instant impact in those areas for us. He will play a key role for The Hawks this season as we construct a team that the fanbase can be proud of on and off the court."

Meanwhile, South East Melbourne Phoenix have signed New Zealander Yanni Wetzell on a two-year deal.

Wetzell was a star for San Diego State as the College team recorded a 30-2 record and was set to be one of the schools to beat at March Madness, only for the coronavirus pandemic to see the tournament canceled.

Wetzell had averaged 11.6 points and 6.5 rebounds for the Aztecs, and was twice named Mountain West Conference Player of the Week. He had previously represented Vanderbilt and St. Mary's.

"It's always been a dream of mine to play either back home in New Zealand or for one of the Australian teams in the NBL, so it's very exciting that I've got the opportunity to play down under," Wetzell said.

"I'm amped to get over there. I'm super pumped to join a club that's in their early stages of NBL history and trying to create something special and shoot for a championship from day one.

"I'm ready to come and make an impact."