King-Hawea adds versatility to United

February 3, 2024 BY

Kobe Tehau King-Hawea is a former Australian Emu, representing the nation's Under 18 basketball side in 2018. Photo: SUPPLIED

A SHIFT back home after five years in the United States will hopefully spur on Geelong United’s latest signing and first female signing for the 2024 season.

United announced last week its first NBL1 South women’s signing in six-foot tall guard/forward Kobe Tehau King-Hawea, to a two-year-deal under head coach Matt Paton.

“I have a long-standing relationship with Coach Paton from my time at the Australian Institute of Sport and after my time at college I just wanted to come back home and help Matt in any way I can,” King-Hawea said.

“I’m excited to play for him again, I’m excited to play for Geelong United, I’ve heard nothing but good things about the organisation there, so really it wasn’t really a question for me to join the team.

“I’m a versatile player that can play pretty much any position on the floor Coach Paton puts me and I’ll help the team in any way I can.”

King-Hawea brings with her an abundance of experience to The Geelong Arena both in Australia and at the college level.

She represented Australia in the Under 18 national Gems side in 2018 before attending two premier basketball programs in the United States.

She was part of both a Big12 Conference Championship and an Elite 8 appearance at March Madness at the University of Texas in Austin, as well as a Sunbelt Conference Championship side with James Madison University.

King-Hawea also averaged 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game in her freshman season (earning NJCAA Division 1 first-team All-America honours as a freshman at Gillette College, the only first-team All-American as a freshman), and 15.5 points (shooting at 43.3 per cent from beyond the arc) during her sophomore campaign.

Paton, who coached United to a preliminary final in 2023, said he is excited to see what King-Hawea can provide at the NBL1 South level.

“I am genuinely excited about Kobe joining our Geelong United NBL1 program,” Paton said.

“I have tracked Kobe’s journey since I coached her at the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence and jumped at the opportunity to reunite with her after her collegiate career.

“Kobe is the definition of ‘X-factor’ and I have no doubt she will very quickly become a fan favourite through her exciting style of play and great personality, she is a high quality player and will be a perfect cultural fit for our program.”

Geelong United will begin their 2024 season on April 7 in Ballarat.