A little jet-lagged, American import Drelan Tripplett was still able to pull out some moves to thrill the crowds at the official opening of the Lithgow Lazers new stadium upgrade on Saturday, March 9.
He is the first of two Americans set to join the team for its 2019 season.
Tripplett, who arrived on Thursday, said he was particularly excited about working with the up-and-coming players. At Saturday's event, the kids hung on Trippett's every word, gazing up at the import, who towered over them at six foot seven.
“I want to help out the younger guys on the team get better and realise what they really want out of this game. And of course I want to be involved in the community - I love kids.
“Just helping any kid I can while I’m here, that’s just the happiest thing for me.”
After arriving on Thursday, Tripplett quickly took up his duties. Donning his Lazers uniform, he performed a dunk for the crowd on Saturday before running drills with the younger Lazers players.
On Sunday, he was back at the stadium, running a clinic. It doubled as a celebration for his birthday.
Triplett hails from a small town in Oklahoma City. From a single parent household, Tripplett said he was the youngest in a family of seven children, and the first to go to college.
After a year at York College in Nebraska, Tripplett took up opportunities offered overseas, touring areas including Portugal, Mexico, Malaysia and Singapore.
This is his first time to Australia, however.
“I saw a kangaroo for the first time today - I was happy,” he said on Saturday.
“The weather here is great. I’ve been to a lot of places where it just rains all day, so I kinda like it.”
Tripplett said he would be coming to the team to fill whatever role they required.
“I’m going to be doing whatever the team needs… Whatever coach wants me to do, I’ll do it,” he said.
“As a basketball player I have mastered one thing, and that is ability to score anywhere on the court. If I’m here on the wing, I’m comfortable, if I’m on the post I’m comfortable, if I’m dribbling the ball up the court as the point guard, I’m comfortable."
A second American import, Michael Johnson, is expected to arrive in Lithgow soon. Tripplett expected the combination to bring some fireworks.
“I want to encourage everyone to come out and watch. When my teammate Michael gets here everybody will see it will be a show," he said.
"We played together at college so it will be a show. We know each other very well and I feel like it will be a great opportunity for the kids to come along and watch and I’ll definitely dunk on people for the kids, I’ll put on a show for them.”