NBL21 Free Agency : Illawarra Hawks sign American Justin Simon

From nbl.com.au :

The Hawks have secured their second import for the 2020/21 Hungry Jack’s NBL Season signing defensive ace Justin Simon to a one-year deal.

Simon played for the Windy City Bulls in the NBA G-League this past season, the G-League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls. The 24-year-old averaged 12.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.2 steals in 43 games for Windy City.

Simon has links to the NBL, having been coached by former Sydney Kings coach Damian Cotter in the G-League.

The California native had a three-year college career, spending the 2015/16 season with Arizona before transferring to St John’s for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons. Simon showcased his defensive talents in his junior season, being crowned the 2019 Big East Defensive Player of the Year.

Simon was a four-star recruit coming out of high school and was the 37th ranked played in ESPN’s Class of 2015 rankings.

The Hawks Head Coach Brian Goorjian said: “Justin is an outstanding signing for our club and will provide us with energy and toughness on the defensive end.

“The NBL is full of world class scorers and to be successful you need someone who is committed on the defensive end and can stop those scorers. Justin will play that role for us and we are excited about the defensive mindset he will bring to the court.

“With 10 players now signed for the upcoming season, we believe we have constructed a highly competitive roster and one Hawks fans can be proud of on and off the floor.”

Simon joins Emmett Naar, Deng Deng, Dan Grida, Deng Adel, Sam Froling, Isaac White, Tyler Harvey, Cam Bairstow and Max Darling on The Hawks’ roster for the upcoming season.

Simon said: “When it all happened and came together, I was very excited. I’m looking forward to this opportunity. It seemed like the perfect fit and everything came together.

“I’m a blue-collar guy, I’m going to bring it every night, play with a lot of energy and a lot of juice. I’m always fired up.

“I’ve heard nothing but great things (about the NBL). I’ve heard it is right under the NBA as far as professional leagues go. It’s a really talented league and it’s well respected. I’m truly excited to be a part of it.”

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