I have yet to really discuss how the opportunity came about for me to join the New Zealand Breakers in the NBL for my 16th season at the professional level.
It all happened all so quickly. A phone call from Head Coach Andrej Lemanis, a quick discussion with the wife and next minute I'm on a flight bound for Auckland.
After saying yes to the Breakers I had to make several phone calls to understanding bosses (at least I hope so) around the traps. I really appreciate the understanding these people had towards my situation in allowing me to continue playing the sport I love.
Once I landed in the land of the long white cloud (yes, this is true) the honeymoon period began.
Tuesday morning was my first practice (at this level since February) and although the team had returned from a loss in Perth, I was focused on bringing a positive energy to the group. (If there has been one thing that has been highlighted since Ive spent time away from the game, it is how lucky I am to have the ability to earn a living from something that I love to do.)
I didn't come into the group and do anything different than what I have not done at any other team I've been affiliated with, but sometimes when a team has a loss, you forget to keep the fun element in it. It is amazing what results you can achieve when there is an element of fun attached.
The first game against Perth arrived and I went into it without expectation. Hell, I have been out of the game for 9 months so what could I have expected? I knocked down a shot (I cannot believe Martin Cattalini went under a screen on me, but cheers), grabbed a few rebounds (despite what Daniel Eade said) and got the win. Everybody's happy at this point in time.
Now the honeymoon is over, it's time for us to go on the road and get the club's first road win for the season.
I head into the "Sunshine Swing" still with no expectation yet, as I'm still getting my feet wet with everything Breakers, all the while trying to get myself to a level physically that I will be happy with.
I certainly appreciate the opportunity given to me and I'm looking forward to making the most of this before I head back to the real world, whenever that may be.