Four-time NBL champion Greg Hire has re-signed with the Rockingham Flames for the 2021 NBL1 West season.
This will be Hire’s third season with the Flames after a stunning 2019 SBL season where he made the league’s All-Star Five and averaged 17.5 points, 14.4 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game.
After a sensational NBL career netted Hire four titles with the Perth Wildcats, the 33-year-old is determined to bring the same level of success to Rockingham.
“The thing that keeps bringing me back is how welcoming the club has been since they recruited me a few years ago and that vision of upholding a real professional standard,” Hire said.
“One of the other biggest things as well is that hunger to try and win a championship for the club.
“They’ve enjoyed tremendous success in the women’s side, and they deserve all of the rewards in that regard, and I would love nothing more to bring success to the men’s side.”
The Flames enter the inaugural NBL1 West campaign as one of the title favourites after also signing Hire’s former Wildcats teammate Tom Jervis.
The duo shares a close friendship, so it was no surprise to see them plot their move to reunite in Rockingham.
“Tommy reached out to me and asked if I was playing and who am I playing for and when I look at the club…it was sort of a no brainer,” Hire said.
“Before he made that commitment, he was making sure that I was signing, and he hit me up asking about the vision and asking about the guys and that’s a really special thing. I’m excited.
“I’ve played alongside Tommy at the highest level and played with him as a 17-year-old in the state team, so it is really exciting at this time in our lives that we can still play at a high level. What he will be able to provide on and off the court is exceptional.”
One of the other factors in Hire lacing up the kicks again in 2021, after sitting out the 2020 West Coast Classic, is the switch to NBL1 and the new professional standards that exist in the league.
With more eyeballs on the competition and the chance to represent Rockingham at a National Championship weekend, Hire comes into the new year with an added spring in his step.
“You can just see it in recent weeks since the announcement the level of professionalism. In terms of social media, marketing, accessibility, which provides more eyes on the league,” Hire said.
“For me, I want to see more West Australians playing at the highest level, whether that’s for the Wildcats or in other professional basketball teams, and that’s what NBL1 West will do.
“The inaugural NBL1 West season will be exiting and the inaugural NBL1 National Championship will be just as exciting. That’s a really big carrot as a club.”
Hire joins Jervis, Jackson Hussey and Travis Durnin as announced Flames men’s players for the 2021 season.