Adam Gibson is preparing to play basketball in Tasmania for the first time in 13 years but said it would be a dream end to his career to represent his home state in the NBL.
After more than 400 NBL appearances, the Launceston-born Olympian will be representing his fifth different team this weekend but admits he is excited by league boss Larry Kestelman's vision for a Tassie team.
Asked if he would like to play for that team, Gibson said: "I would not say no. To come back and play in the state where I grew up would be really cool.
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"I'm locked in for at least two years and loving it but in two or three years, who knows? I would not want to rule anything out, so we'll wait and see."
Having played NBL for sides in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, the 32-year-old believes Tasmanian inclusion is finally looming into view.
"Larry does not mess around so if he thinks it's viable it's going to go ahead.
"Interest has grown, state teams are doing well and the last step to put together is locals coming out to show their support and hopefully the state can band together to make it possible.
"I'm all for it. The more teams the better because it means a better league. There is so much talent going around that guys are missing out because there are not enough positions."
After completing a second four-year spell at Brisbane Bullets, Gibson signed a two-year contract with new franchise South East Melbourne Phoenix who he will represent in the NBL Blitz in Devonport on Friday and Hobart on Sunday.
"I'm excited," he said. "It's been a long time so to come back and play in front of family and past teammates should be a lot of fun."
Gibson said he last played in Tasmania in 2006 for Hobart in the SEABL and Penguin in the NWBU.
He admitted he was disappointed to miss out on a chance to play at the Silverdome for the first time but said his parents Geoff and Robyn will still travel from Cluan to watch both his games.
To come back and play in the state where I grew up would be really coolAdam Gibson
"I was not too happy about that but it is what it is and will still be great.
"They are super excited about all this and cannot wait for the weekend. Mum follows it all online and is pretty active on social media so generally knows most things before I do.
"I think the Blitz is awesome. It's shown in the past how good it is and it's the next step for Tassie to get a team into the league."
The two-time NBL champion said he was loving the Phoenix set-up having made the move to Melbourne with his lawyer wife Montana and their two ladradors.
General Admission tickets go on sale in 5 days. Get excited Phoenix fans, our first ever home game is against the Brisbane Bullets.— South East Melbourne Phoenix (@SEMelbPhoenix) August 16, 2019
"To come out and see our brand new team on our home floor for the first time will be exciting."#Heartland#RiseUpPhoenix#ItStartsNowpic.twitter.com/qLLL8KE5bU
He will play mostly at Hisense Arena where he previously represented South Dragons.
"This club is one of the best I've been a part of, in all areas. It's very professional. They really look after the players, the facilities are really good and it's been a good move.
"My time in Brisbane came to an end and it was perfect timing with this new team, they offered me a contract and I was glad to take it.
"I'm on a two-year contract, and will maybe play another year or two after that. We'll wait and see how the body goes."
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Asked if he could be described as a veteran yet, Gibson replied: "Pretty close I reckon. I don't feel too old but I remember when I was starting out looking at guys who were 30 and thinking they were pretty old. I still feel young at heart and think I've got lots still in the tank. It's still exciting to turn up day-in, day-out. It's one of the best things to do what you love and get paid for it."
The former Hagley Farm School and Prospect High student will be joining some NBL clinics this weekend at some familiar locations.
"I think the first one is at Riverside," he said. "I don't think I ever lost to them in my school days so we'll see if they remember that."
6pm: Brisbane v NBL1 All Stars
8pm: Cairns v Adelaide (both Ulverstone SC)
6pm: Illawarra v Perth
8pm: Melbourne United v NZ Breakers (both Kingborough SC)
7.30pm: SEM Phoenix v Sydney Kings (Devonport SC)
5.30pm: Cairns v NBL1 All Stars
7.30pm: Adelaide v Brisbane (both Silverdome)
10am: SEM Phoenix v NZ
1pm: Perth v Sydney
4pm: Melbourne United v Illawarra (all DEC)
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