Hawks big man helps lead Skyhawks to victory in season debut

The Atlanta Hawks sent some help down for their G League affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks, who are off to a strong start this season.

2023 NBA Mexico Games - Atlanta Hawks v Orlando Magic
2023 NBA Mexico Games - Atlanta Hawks v Orlando Magic / Hector Vivas/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Hawks were idle for the quarterfinal round of the NBA’s In-Season Tournament.

They were already eliminated from contending for the championship. But they still made a roster move ahead of Monday’s contests

“The Atlanta Hawks announced today that center Bruno Fernando has been assigned to the College Park Skyhawks from the Atlanta Hawks,” read a post from the Hawks public relations team on X on December 4.

Fernando, 25, is buried on the Hawks’ depth chart behind Clint Capela and backup Onyeka Okongwu, and he could have to battle Mouhamed Gueye for minutes when he gets healthy. Fernando averages 1.4 points and 0.8 rebounds in 16 total minutes across five games this season. But he is coming off a strong performance for Angola in the 2023 FIBA World Cup this past summer.

The Skyhawks are off to a record-setting start.

They are 7-3 and have twice set a club record for the fewest points allowed in a game this season with 79 versus the Greensboro Swarm on November 29.

College Park picked up a 115-112 win over the Long Island Nets in Fernando’s first game. The big man finished with eight points, five rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal. He also had a team-high six turnovers, though the Skyhawks were able to overcome them.

Fernando, the No. 34 overall pick of the draft in 2019, spent his first season-plus in the NBA with the Hawks after the Philadelphia 76ers drafted him and traded him to Atlanta less than one month later. The Hawks traded him to the Boston Celtics in a three-team deal with the Sacramento Kings that landed Delon Wright in 2021.

They re-acquired the big man along with Garrison Mathews in a trade with the Houston Rockets this past offseason.

But Fernando was not the only, or even most encouraging showing from a Hawk in this game.

Skyhawks get strong contribution from Hawks draft pick

The Skyhawks were led by guard Tyson Etienne with 23 points to go with five assists (to zero turnovers) and a pair of boards. But rookie second-round pick Seth Lundy poured in 16 points, scoring all of his baskets from beyond the arc at a 38.4% clip (5-for-13). He also had seven rebounds, three assists (two turnovers), three blocks, and two steals.

Atlanta drafted Lundy with the No. 46 overall pick in this year’s draft. A four-year player out of Penn State, Lundy has yet to appear in a game with the Hawks this season.

He is averaging 17.1 points, shooting 37.2% from deep, and started every game for the Skyhawks. Stuffing the stat sheet, Lundy has also chipped in 5.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 blocks, and 0.9 assists.

College Park also got strong showings from guard Keaton Wallace (15 points, 3-for-4 3P) and Miles  Norris (14 points, seven rebounds). The Skyhawks will face the Nets again in their next outing, completing the home-and-home on December 6.

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