A dozen years ago, Matthew Dellavedova was a fresh-faced kid straight out of the Australian Institute of Sport who made the trek to the United States with dreams of playing in the NBA.
This month another former Bendigo Junior Braves player - Dyson Daniels - is embarking on a similar journey.
While Dellavedova went down the school path by attending St Mary's College outside of San Francisco, Daniels is heading straight to professional basketball after he signed with California-based G-League club Ignite.
It's a different pathway, but Daniels' end goal is the same as Dellavedova's - an NBA contract.
Dellavedova is well aware of Daniels' ability and has played somewhat of a mentoring role to the 18-year-old.
"He is already an awesome player, but I can't wait to see what he does over there,'' Dellavedova said of Daniels.
"I've spoken to him on the phone a couple of times when he was at the (Australian) Institute (of Sport) with (coach) Adam Caporn... and I've messaged him a couple of times.
"The biggest thing is keep working hard and take care of your body, but going over to the US you have to feel confident and establish yourself and be assertive.
"It's a little bit of a different game over there, but with his talent, ability, size and athleticism. I can't wait to see what he does.
"He's already an unreal player, but the potential is limitless."
The advice about taking care of your body is something Dellavedova has followed to the letter since his college days with the Gaels.
Now getting into the veteran stage - he celebrates his 31st birthday next month - Dellavedova said he was feeling strong and fit as he prepares to play in the upcoming NBL season with Melbourne United.
Injuries restricted Dellavedova's playing time with Cleveland in the NBA, but he's confident he'll be ready to find his best form when the NBL season starts in November.
"The body is feeling great and that's the main thing,'' Dellavedova said.
"I feel like I need to put a good chunk of time together for training and also games, play a lot of minutes and have the ball in my hands and make decisions and things like that.
"I'm going to have a great opportunity to do that with (Melbourne) United. A shorter season, long preparation of pre-season with the season being pushed back is going to allow me to put a good chunk of work together, get in really good shape and condition and, obviously, get to know the boys and Dean's (coach Dean Vickerman) system."
While Dellavedova would dearly love to be still playing in the NBA, the prospect of playing basketball and living in Melbourne for at least the next 12 months has plenty of positives for the Maryborough native.
"Usually when I come back in the off season I might have a month that includes Boomers prep, spending time with family, try and do a few clinics and catch-up with my mates,'' he said.
"Having a year to do that is a lot less stressful. I'm going to be able to get more quality family time in, continue to help grow the game at the grassroots and do some clinics.
"I'm really looking forward to that part of it as well."
Read more: Delly excited about his return to Australia
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