The first import signing is in the books for the Northern Star Resources Goldfields Giants with the announcement of the signing of Corey Hammell.
Hammell, a 198cm (6’6”) forward from Santa Rosa in California joins the Giants after a college career playing locally in California and Alaska as well as an professional international stint in Ireland.
A rugged defender and tenacious rebounder, Hammell brings to the Giants an energy at both ends of the court, providing scoring, rebounding, defence, hustle and getting his teammates involved.
He spent his first two college years at Santa Rosa JC, where he developed into a regular starter, averaging 14.3 points and 10.2 rebounds as a sophomore.
He then transferred to the University of Anchorage Alaska (UAA), a NCAA DII school where he continued the double-double average across his final two seasons with 10.1 points and 10.1 rebounds across 54 games for the Seawolves and was also named
All-Conference 2nd team in 2016.
Hammell made such an impact on the record books for UAA that he left after just two seasons in many of their Statistical All-time Top 10’s, a massive feat considering those ahead of him played four seasons.
Career wise, he finished the UAA all-time leader in rebounds per game, 3rd in free throws made per game, 4th in total double-doubles and total rebounds, 7th in total free throws made and 9th in total free throws attempted.
He has become one of many UAA alumni who have gone on to play pro-basketball, with many familiar names in Australia and the SBL, including current Illawarra Hawks captain Kevin White and Jeremiah Truman who played for the Perth Wildcats and New Zealand Breakers.
Also on the list is the games record holder and winningest player in UAA history, Vern Robateau, who played two seasons for the Giants back in 1996-1997.
Hammell then made a big impact in his first professional job out of college, averaging 16.1 points and 16.4 rebounds playing in the Ireland Super League and will be looking to do something similar for the Giants in 2020.
A consummate team player, Hammell is excited about what he can bring.
“I feel I’m a consistent double-double threat that will help my team mates out on both ends of the floor” Hammell said.
“As a player I’ve been described as a beast, an animal. Rugged, tough, physical.”
“I give everything when I play. I outwork my opponents.
I do what’s best for the team to win games and championships.”
“I’ve been lucky enough to have won several individual awards and hold a couple records throughout the programs I’ve played at, but I am most proud of my team accomplishments, having won Regional and State Championships in high school and at Junior College level.”
“I have a lot of great memories from those championship teams. It’s something I’d love to experience again at the Giants”
No stranger to making big moves to play basketball, Hammell spoke of his time in Alaska, Ireland and his upcoming Australian season.
“Moving from California to Alaska for me was a big move, It definitely was a haul for me and my family and friends, but I chose the school for number of reasons apart from the scholarship.”
“The program had a winning track record and the facilities were voted best in all of D2 athletics.
I really wanted a different college experience than most people and UAA offered that.”
“The step up to playing overseas in Ireland was a very different experience comparatively than college.” Hammell said.
“College basketball was taken more seriously, the facilities were better, and the level of play was higher. The play in Ireland was definitely more physical though. You definitely earned it if you posted up or drove the ball.”
“You had to get adjusted to the style of reffing and their rules meant you could only have one import on the court at a time.”
“With the move to Australia, I feel I know as much as I can about the Australian leagues.”
“I’ve had Australian team mates and know the style of play. I’ve been pulling up YouTube clips trying to get a feel for the level of play. Definitely some high level basketball to be be played & players. I expect the league to be very competitive.”
“I’ve been talking with my Aussie teammates and friends who have played in other leagues in the country. They have high praise for the level of competition.”
“I’m currently working out twice a day, getting around 500 or more shots a day, mixed in with strength & conditioning.”
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to not only visit but to live and play in a country like Australia.”
Giants coach Wayne Creek spoke about his newest recruit.
“Corey is a blue collar hard worker who will get in and roll up his sleeves and has a great work ethic.” Creek said. “He is a great rebounder and defender and comes with high praise from his college coaches as a person of high character.”
“We’re excited to have him in a Giants uniform for next season”
Hammell will be relocating to the Goldfields in mid February.
Stay tuned for upcoming news on player signings as the Giants head into their 30th year in the WA State Basketball League.
Date Of Birth: 21st September 1994 (25 years old)
From: Santa Rosa, California (USA)
Height: 198cm (6’6″)
Giants Playing Number: To Be Confirmed
Recruited from: Maree B.C. Galway (Ireland Super League)
2013-2015 Santa Rosa Junior College (CCCAA) – Santa Rosa, CA (USA)
2015-2017 University of Alaska Anchorage (NCAA DII) – Anchorage, AK (USA)
2017 Eurobasket Summer League – Las Vegas, NV (USA)
2017-2018 Maree B.C. (Ireland Superleague) – Galway (Ireland)
2019 Eurobasket Summer League – Las Vegas, NV (USA)