NBL legend Hayden Allen has made the tough decision not to return to the SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks for 2018. Here is his personal message to Sharks Fans.
"Thanks to all Sharkies fans, sponsors and the teams behind the scenes for a great two years donning the orange singlet. As much as I would have loved to return south, life at home takes precedence this time around with 3 rascals to keep an eye on. I’ve been fortunate over the past two seasons to have the blessing of my amazing better half Nat to allow me to follow what I love to do all the while doing the hard yards at home.
Undoubtedly, I will miss the day to day on-court battles at trainings and game days … but in all honesty a huge part of me will miss the five-minute commute anywhere, trips to Bluff with Pledge for a cold one with the locals, our ‘off day’ adventures with the boys and Invercargill in general with its welcoming and friendly locals.
I must make special mention to my roomie, Judd Flava Flav and Top Dog Jill for getting me down, Dan, Di and Michelle in the Southland office for sharing their scones and our top notch banter each day, all the team at ILT Stadium for the amazing job they do, John and the team at The Grind for giving us all a pep in our step each day with our caffeine fix and other all-important sponsors that without your valuable support, we as players wouldn’t get to do what we love to do and also giving budding Southland basketballers the opportunity to play on a national stage, and last but not definitely not least – my adopted family in Adam and Jo (and the girls) at The Balmoral for putting a roof over my head, feeding me on the regular and supplying me my trusty stead as my daily mode of transportation.
Given I’m a Dunedin boy, the South holds a special place in my heart and has only grown with my Southern sojourn ... so again, thank you Southland - very much appreciated and all the best for the up-coming season."