Talk about a possible storybook ending to one of Australian basketball’s most storied careers…

Twenty years after he was the NBL Rookie of the Year with the Illawarra Hawks, David Andersen is returning to the club for the 2018-19 season.

Andersen, a 6’11 forward/centre with NBA experience and an incredibly successful career in Europe, is a key acquisition for the Hawks as they shore up their front-line for next season. The four-time Olympian joins the Hawks after helping Melbourne United capture the 2017- 18 NBL title.

Andersen, a class act on and off the court throughout his 20-year career, will form a solid 1-2 punch in the middle with Hawks centre AJ Ogilvy under coach Rob Beveridge, who is over the moon to have the 37-year-old on board.

“David is a flat out winner everywhere he goes and is arguably the most successful of any Australian player on the world stage,” Beveridge said.

“Having played in the NBA, four Olympic Games and multiple World Championships, and having won championships all over Europe and last year in the NBL … you can’t say enough about the wealth of knowledge someone like that brings to your club. “David is going to bring so much leadership and experience to our club, and I am absolutely ecstatic to be able to have him join us at the Hawks.

“He is terrific guy on and off the floor and we are looking forward to having David part of our team and pushing for a playoff position.”

Andersen was fresh out of the AIS when he captured NBL Rookie of the Year honours in the 1998-99 season as a skinny teenager.

Currently heading over to China to play with the NBL All-Australian squad, he is expected to land in Wollongong to begin training with the team in early August.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming David back to the Hawks,” General Manager Mat Campbell said.

“A player of his calibre within the organisation brings a great deal of credibility to our team. His lengthy career will be of great interest to sponsors and members and we look forward to introducing David to our network over the coming weeks.”