Davidson honoured at Hawks’ home match
He was a cult figure during his time at the Hawks, but after slipping quietly out the back door at the end of last season former big-man Larry Davidson finally received the send-off he deserved at WIN Entertainment Centre on Friday night.
Davidson’s extensive NBL career was celebrated at half time of the Hawks much needed victory over the Perth Wildcats.
The towering centre, who played 235 games for the Hawks between 2007-16, finished up at the end of last season.
He now works in a mine in Orange, but reflected fondly on his 12-year NBL career.
“It was always going to be difficult finishing up playing and it is something that you kind of hope never happens but it is always going to come around,” Davidson said.
“It kind of took a while to adjust to it but having [my daughter] Letty came into my life definitely helped a lot and took my mind off not playing anymore and just kind of hang out with her.”
Davidson started his career in the NBL with the Hunter Pirates before moving to the Singapore Slingers in 2006-07.
When the Slingers folded he made his way to the Hawks in 2007-08.
“I think I came here when I was 24 and didn’t know what I was going to do then Wollongong ended up being my life,” Davidson said.
“I met my wife here and played here for however many years and then started a family here.
“It is somewhere that I am always going to live.
“It started with playing basketball but stretched into something a lot more than that which is kind of cool I suppose.”
After struggling with knee problems early in his career, Davidson went on to eventually play more than 300 games over an impressive NBL career.
The 33-year-old finished his career as the third most capped player in Illawarra’s history.
“It still feels a bit weird because in my head I still feel like I am 20 years old. It kind of shows you are getting a bit older but it is definitely something I can look back on and be proud of,” Davidson said. “And definitely feel like you were a part of something that is always going to be there.
“From that point of view it is definitely something you look back on and smile.”
The arrival of his first child, Letty Ava, with wife Brooke has kept Davidson sufficiently busy since he career ended.
“I didn’t think I was cut out for it at first. The first few months were pretty tough but since then it has been unreal,” he said.
“You here everyone talk about how good it is to have kids and I thought they were all lying at first but it is unreal.”