Posted: February 14th, 2012

First look: Frank Hassell…

The Erie BayHawks are hoping forward Frank Hassell (with ball) can give them a stronger inside presence./AP Photo.

On Monday, the Erie BayHawks added forward Frank Hassell, a 6-9, 246-pound power forward who averaged 10.1 points and 7.8 rebounds in 20 games for the expansion Canton Charge.

From Chesapeake, Va., Hassell had played overseas in Turkey before the San Antonio Spurs invited him to training camp. Hassell, who played at the same high school as former NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning in Indian River, was the 2011 Colonial Athletic Association Tournament MVP while playing at Old Dominion.

The BayHawks got Hassell, 23, in a trade when they acquired Sharrod Ford out of the D-League player pool and traded him to Canton for Hassell. From Suitland, Md., Ford, 30, played for the Phoenix Suns in 2005-06 after playing college ball at Clemson.

Ford also played professional in Turkey, Russia and Italy. He averaged 15.8 points and 10.4 rebounds in 2010-11 with Sutor Montegranaro in Italy.

At Tuesday’s practice, Hassell sat with ice on his right knee, but said it was precautionary as it has swelled up on him. When asked what Hassell brings to the team, Erie coach Jay Larranaga said the following:

“Frank is a great rebounder,” Larranaga said. “Great interior presence. He’s had three straight double-doubles for Canton. We were excited to be able to get him. He’s also someone that is a winner. He’s part of very good teams at Old Dominion. I”m familiar with him from him being in my father’s conference.”

(Jim Larranaga coached in the CAA at George Mason. The elder Larranaga is now coaching in the ACC at Miami (Fla.).

“Good team player,” Jay Larranaga continued. “High basketball IQ. We feel really good about that. We’ve been undersized for quite a while. Gives us some length and size inside that we were missing.”

Give and Go home