Having spent the past year combating sub-zero temperatures in Sweden, American Stephanie Gardner arrived in Launceston last Tuesday as the Tornadoes recruit most in need of a warm welcome.
A full crowd at Elphin Sports Centre last weekend did the trick - so much so that the New Jersey point guard can't wait to get back onto her new home court next month.
"It was great - everything is closed in and jam-packed so you really feel the crowd and the energy," Gardner said.
"We have a lot of support and we want to play well for our fans because they come out and they give us such a great environment."
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The two-point loss to Nunawading was Gardner's first outing in Torns colours, and saw the 26-year-old finish with eight points, seven assists and four rebounds in 35 minutes of court time.
Having played in Romania, Mexico, Greece and Lithuania, Gardner has plenty of experience fitting into new teams and said it was only a matter of time before she and fellow imports Brittany Hodges and Stella Beck clicked with their new teammates.
"I'm still kind of getting my legs under me and my legs felt a little heavy physically, but from the team standpoint we were feeling each other out," Gardner said.
'We had two new players, so there is that aspect of getting to know each other as well that we still need to work on - myself particularly because I'm the newest member.
"I just want to get better [this season] - that's the main thing for me, and for me being one of the older players is to be a leader and bring people together.
"That's my number one goal because we have younger players and I have to kind of step up and take that role."
The Tornadoes travel south on Saturday to meet Hobart Huskies for the first time, kicking off a run of five consecutive away games.
Luckily, Gardner enters the rivalry match a fully-fledged Launcestonian thanks to a pilgrimage to the North's most iconic location.
"I went to the Gorge which is beautiful and it happened to be a beautiful day - I think that was my first day here and [Torns general manager Corey Ackerley] took us up and it was really nice," Gardner said.
"I'm not going to catch too many more sunny days going into winter so it was a good time for me to catch that and it's a nice place.
"It's been a little bit of a challenge just driving around and things of that nature - [having to] GPS everything which is annoying - but it's been nice.
"It's got a real home feel Launceston so I like that aspect of it, it's not too big, not too small."