The GMHBA Ballarat Miners 2016 team roster is starting to come together with the re-signing of Chris Smith and Dyson King-Hawea. Smith is returning for his fourth season with the Miners and King-Hawea who was a 2015 mid-season recruit has agreed to stay in Ballarat for 2016.
Smith, although not originally from Ballarat is considered a local after spending the last three years with the Miners, attending Federation University Australia and working at the Ballarat Specialist School. Smith is excited to have re-signed with the Miners stating “Ballarat has been very good to me, and I am pleased to re-sign for another year where we can hopefully go deeper into the finals.”
Smith who stands at 208cm will be entering his sixth South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL) season after spending his first two years with Mt Gambier.
Smith played in all 25 games for the Miners during 2015 and averaged 20 minutes, and over five points and five rebounds per game. Smith’s best game was against Geelong where he achieved a double, double scoring 12 points and bringing down 11 rebounds.
Meanwhile Smith’s house mate King-Hawea has also re-signed with the Miners after moving over from New Zealand in the middle of the 2015 SEABL season.
King-Hawea who is the cousin of 2015 Miner Everard Bartlett moved to Ballarat to fill the void left by Bartlett who was selected in the New Zealand National team that toured Europe and played against Australia in the Olympic Qualifiers.
King-Hawea a 200cm forward played just 11 games for the Miners in 2015 but was able to average 20 minutes a game as well as six points and five rebounds.
King-Hawea did move to Melbourne during the off season to live with family but returned to Ballarat mid-October when he started a new job. King-Hawea enjoys the Ballarat lifestyle and the community atmosphere “when I first came here in June, everyone was incredibly warm and welcoming and the boys are just great”.
GMHBA Ballarat Miners Head Coach Eric Hayes is pleased to have both Smith and King-Hawea re-sign “it’s nice to have some familiar faces return for 2016, Smitty (Chris Smith) and Dyson are valued members of the team, not just on the court but within the community.”
Smith has been making the Miners presence felt in the off season with appearances at Run Ballarat, both holiday and skills camps, as well as his continued support with the variety of clinic work that Basketball Ballarat offers to local schools.
Miners Elite Teams Chair Nick Grylewicz is happy with how the team is coming together “we have reviewed our 2015 season and have identified the areas in which we can improve, both on and off the court”. Grylewicz continued “Dyson and Chris were players that we wanted to hold onto so its pleasing that they also wanted to stay” Grylewicz fished with “we expect in the coming weeks to announce more signings as we continue talks and plan for a bright 2016 campaign”
Smith, King-Hawea and Youth League Miners have been hitting Spartans Gym for regular strength and conditioning sessions as well as the MARS® MINERDOME for weekly on court sessions to retain fitness in preparation for pre-season which is due to officially kick off in January.