Sejr Deans can pull his hands behind his head, lean back a little, take an easy breath and just relax now.
But the 15-year-old’s mind is still ticking over after those final dramatic moments had bounced around in his head.
The Australian under-15 basketballer had more to deal with last month than dribbling up and down or putting up trash shots for fun.
In stark contrast to his casual demeanour, Deans secured his country a rare win – one full of gold on the international stage.
“A fair few people have been asking me about it, but [the conversation] is starting to get a bit quiet,” Deans says.
He calmly shot the final four points to turnaround a one-point deficit into a 61-58 win over New Zealand to win the Oceania Championship.
And even when the fierce Kiwis were mounting a last challenge to take the final into overtime, Deans got onto the end of a turnover, kept his cool and drew one last foul for good measure.
It didn’t count, but for Deans it didn’t matter.
“It was all an awesome experience,” Deans says.
“I was pretty nervous taking the last free throw still.
“But after we got up and the siren went off, we’re just jumping around crazy.
“It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had – especially as we were the first group to play as an under-15s team in Oceania. So it was good to set a higher standard for others.”
Running down to the final 17 seconds left and Deans had his side and Australia’s fate in his hands, walking up to the free-throw line.
First shot made. Second shot made. The Crocs are in front. And all of a sudden Deans’ confidence grows.
“When I had the first free throw to tie the game, I was pretty nervous,” he says, “but once I made that I felt pretty comfortable that we would win just after the way we had been playing before that.”
New Zealand on the attack and eight seconds left a shot goes up. It misses and it’s Deans who pulls down the matchwinning rebound.
Then with two seconds on the clock, a desperate New Zealand is called for unsportsmanlike foul on Deans.
He sinks another point followed by one more.
“You practice the same shots so many times, but it’s a bit different with the crowd and the pressure that’s on you,” Dean says, reliving the finish one more time.
But rather than be a one-time clutch wonder, the Riverside teenager’s influence was all over the 40 minutes.
He scored an equal team-high 15 points.
The tournament 13-point average was drawn down a bit after just nailing two points in the earlier preliminary loss to New Zealand.
Deans learned heaps in the space of 48 hours.
“It’s just a different level is international basketball and the style of play and the decisions you have to make,” he says.
“You just always have to be switched on like you always have a job that you have to be doing.”
The brilliant performance at the Oceania under-15 titles in Papua New Guinea has Deans now eyeing off something bigger: the Asian championships midyear.
Australia will be heavily favoured to finish in the top-four and qualify for the world championships.
Deans is gobsmacked at what lies ahead of him in his future goals.
“I just want to make the most of the opportunities that they get,” he says.
“I still will like to go and play college – it would be a great experience.
“Just to meet different players and be in a different environment would be a great experience.”
You practice the same shots so many times, but it’s a bit different with the crowd and the pressure that’s on youSejr Deans