It's been more than four months since Maryborough's Matthew Dellavedova last played a competitive game of basketball.
His NBA season with the Cleveland Cavaliers was cut short by a concussion that forced him to miss the final 17 games of the season.
The longest break of his professional basketball career has been anything but a holiday.
With World Cup commitments with the Boomers in September, followed by another 82-game NBA season with the Cavs and then the Tokyo Olympics next year, the 28-year-old has used the past four months to build a solid fitness base and work on the mechanics of his game, in particular his perimeter shooting.
Dellavedova hired the services of his former St Mary's College team-mate Paul McCoy to work on his fitness and skills.
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Dellavedova and McCoy have put in long sessions in the gym and on court, with a strong focus on three-point shooting and defence - arguably the most important skills in the modern NBA.
"I've been working on getting my legs really strong and been lifting a lot of single leg weights,'' Dellavedova said in Bendigo on Tuesday.
"I've changed my shot (quicker release) as well, so I've been focusing on that and playing a lot more one-on-one.
"It's been good fun to work on some different things because I haven't had a long period of time to work on things like that for a long time."
Dellavedova heads into training camp with the Boomers in two weeks.
They play two games against Canada in Perth next month before hosting the might of the United States in Melbourne in two World Cup warm-up games.
The World Cup will be held in China from August 31 to September 15.
Even without NBA star Ben Simmons, Dellavdeova and the Boomers have high expectations in China.
"Our goal is to win the gold medal and I think we have a great group of guys that are all focused on that one thing,'' Dellavedova said.
"I know and understand how lucky I am to be a part of it. It's a great group of guys who all care about pulling on the green and gold.
"It's a highlight for me and I can't wait to pull on the green and gold again."
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Dellavedova, who played his junior representative basketball with the Bendigo Braves, was more than happy to give four of Bendigo's current junior players some advice on Tuesday.
"Try to keep working hard and make sure you try to get a bit better each day,'' Dellavedova said.
"If you do that over a week that adds up, over a month, over a year and over multiple years it really adds up.
"If you can stay consistent with that you'll be able to improve. It's a simple thing to say, but hard to do everyday."
While Dellavedova has a massive 12 months ahead on the court, his life off the court is about to change significantly.
Earlier this month, Matthew and his wife Anna announced they were expecting their first baby - a son.
"It's very exciting. Life is already busy and I'm sure it's going to get busier,'' Dellavedova said of impending fatherhood.
"I can't wait. It's going to be a lot of fun."
Dellavedova's other great sporting passion is the Collingwood Football Club and Delly Jr will follow in his father's footsteps.
"I've already converted my wife, so he'll defintley get the black and white on as well."
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