The Hungry Jack’s NBL is pleased to announce it has awarded the licence for the Illawarra Hawks to a syndicate of local and overseas investors to lead the foundation club into an exciting new era.
The syndicate includes Australian entrepreneur and former co-owner of the Sydney Kings, Dorry Kordahi, prominent former NBA executive Bryan Colangelo and US businessman and basketball influencer Michael Proctor.
Hungry Jack’s NBL Owner and Executive Chairman Larry Kestelman said: “This is an exciting announcement for the Hawks and further endorsement of the Hungry Jack’s NBL as one of the leading basketball leagues in the world.
“There was widespread interest from a number of overseas and local parties, and we believe this is the best credentialled group to deliver long term success on and off the court for our proud foundation club.
“They have a proven track record in business and basketball to be able to take the Hawks to the next level as the NBL continues on its strong growth trajectory after five consecutive years of record attendances and broadcast audiences as well as increased global recognition. And the syndicate is still open to other business people from Australia and overseas to be involved.
“The decision in choosing the right owners was not an easy one and I want to acknowledge and thank all those who were part of the thorough process undertaken. I would like, in particular, to thank LaMelo Ball and his organisation for the support and interest shown in wanting to achieve the best outcome for the team that has helped him have a chance at being the number one NBA Draft pick.
“We hope we can explore future opportunities with LaMelo and wish him all the best for the NBA Draft in October and his ambition to be the best ever player in the game.”
Hungry Jack’s NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said under the agreement with the new owners, the team would go by the name of the ‘Hawks’ as they looked to expand their footprint across New South Wales and beyond.
“The intention is for Wollongong to remain the primary base for the Hawks, supported by positive discussions with Venues NSW about upgrading the WIN Entertainment Centre to ensure we have the best venue possible to deliver world class entertainment for Hawks fans,” he said.
“There are also opportunities for the Hawks to grow their fan base across the region following their success in taking games to Canberra in recent seasons. I wish our newest team owners the very best for the coming season. We are confident that once we get back out on the court, the Hungry Jack’s NBL is going to be as hotly contested as ever.”
Dorry Kordahi said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the syndicate and myself to positively contribute to the ongoing success of the NBL, give back to the local basketball community and embrace the rich history of the only founding club to create a team that fans can be proud of.
“Our goal and main drive are to grow the Hawks organisation and establish a respected program in the NBL. We believe we have a unique collective of experience, knowledge and networks, both in basketball and business to deliver this.”
Bryan Colangelo said: “Australian basketball with its great history has been on a significant rise for many years now and the NBL has played a significant role in growing the sport’s awareness and participation levels, while developing some of the best athlete and coaching talent the world has to offer. We are thrilled to be selected as new partners with the league and pledge to outperform the expectations placed on us and deliver for Hawks fans.
“With the Next Stars initiative, the league has strategically positioned itself as a viable alternative for young athletes seeking a premium player development and athlete care model that best prepares them for competing at the sport’s highest levels. LaMelo Ball, among others, serves as a great example of just how influential the NBL has become on a global basis.”
Michael Proctor said: “The Hawks present such an exciting opportunity for our ownership. We view the league as one of the world’s best. My hope is that we can make the Hawks a well-respected winner for years to come.”
ABOUT THE HAWKS OWNERSHIP GROUP
Dorry Kordahi is a well-respected Australian entrepreneur, investor, start-up mentor and author who founded and self-started market leading corporate merchandise business DKM Blue. His business interests, principally in promotional marketing, have also spanned the sports, fashion and music industries. In recent years he has focussed on a series of mergers and acquisitions that have seen him buy and monetise numerous companies.
In business, Dorry has received a number of industry awards and accolades over the years, including being an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist and being featured on BRW’s Young Rich and Fast Starters lists six times to name a few.
Dorry is also a dedicated and passionate member of the Australian basketball community, having played professionally in his 20s to later becoming a player agent and by the age of 32 became the co-owner of the Sydney Kings. Dorry now sits on the Advisory Board for the NBL and brings two decades of experience, knowledge, insight and passion to the sport.
Bryan Colangelo is a veteran of the sports and entertainment industry who has spent 20 plus years presiding over a National Basketball Association club. He has vast experience in corporate governance, executive leadership and team management, franchise development and strategy and facility planning, operations and design.
During his career in the basketball business, Colangelo has served in a capacity as consultant, scout, player personnel director, general manager, president, board member and equity partner while spending time with the Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers. A two-time recipient of the NBA’s Executive of the Year award, Bryan has been at the forefront of building innovative and talented front office organisations while producing some of the league’s most competitive and entertaining teams. Under his guidance, Colangelo’s teams acquired or drafted elite budding stars Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Joe Johnson, DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and Ben Simmons, while also hiring prominent head coaches Scott Skiles, Danny Ainge, Mike D’Antoni and Dwane Casey.
Bryan also served as President of Phoenix Arena Sports which owned teams in the Arena Football League, Continental Indoor Soccer League, WNBA and World Team Tennis, where he was responsible for the launch of each brand and overall team operations. During his tenure with the organisation, he was named to the Sports Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 “Most Influential” list and honoured as the AFL’s Executive of the Year.
Colangelo is a graduate of Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Managerial Economics.
Michael Proctor is an American businessman, restaurateur and real estate developer based in St. Louis, Missouri. Michael’s primary business is owning and operating multiple food service operations and he has also developed successful hotels in thriving markets.
In addition to his business ventures, Michael has created significant relationships in basketball across North America, from the grassroots level all the way to the NBA. As a former NCAA player himself, Mike’s involvement with and knowledge of the top ranked AAU Programs and Major Division I college programs throughout the United States, along with his connections with numerous coaches and personnel at the high school, college and pro levels brings a unique and strategic perspective on assessing and supporting the talent acquisition process.
Proctor graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration.