It was a new year to remember for South Melbourne Phoenix's Adam 'Gibbo' Gibson.
The Launceston-born and raised guard was notified by his team at 3pm that they would be high-tailing it to Tasmania on New Year's Day due to growing COVID concerns in Victoria.
"On New Year's Eve we got a phone call from our club staff to pack a bag and that we were moving to Tassie in the morning, and to be at the airport at 6am in the morning for a 7.45am flight," Gibson said.
"New Year's Eve was certainly a lot more different than normal ... we had word that this may happen so we had things in place, what we'd need [to pack] and what we didn't need to help the situation.
"It was a rush, but I think our club put us in a good position to be ready and we got it done."
The Phoenix and the New Zealand Breakers have been in Hobart since the new year, participating in training and closed preseason matches.
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Gibson said this homecoming was certainly different from any other.
"Obviously it's a slightly different circumstance - we're kind of confined to our hotel and we're not really allowed to go and do too much with our NBL COVID protocol but it's been awesome being back," he said.
"The weather's really turned it on for us and we've been able to see a bit of Hobart so it's been a bit of fun."
NBL COVID protocols have allowed players one hour's worth of outside time aside from training and games. "If we don't play a game within the next ten days, we're free but we have to adhere to rules within the ten-day period," Gibson said.
With preseason matches against the Breakers complete, Gibson said he'd be able to have a 'low-key' visit with his family.
"Anytime I can see them and catch up, even for a lunch, it's awesome," he said.
With COVID situations continuing to unfold in NSW and Victoria, Gibson was ready to face whatever form this NBL season would take.
"It's like anything else, when the rules are in place you have to follow them," he said.
"We've been living with them in Melbourne now for the last six months so we're kind of used to it.
"I think it's probably for other state's teams who maybe have lived a freer life such as Adelaide, Perth or Brisbane who have been pretty COVID-free most of the year.
"We've been living through it in preseason already and it is what it is."
It was a rush, but I think our club put us in a good position to be ready and we got it done.Adam Gibson
Gibson said the Phoenix would have a meeting Monday evening to discuss what their next move would be, preseason and beyond.
As for Tasmania's own team, JackJumpers, Gibson said it was a huge boost for the sport in the state.
"I think it's unreal that Tassie now has a team," he said.
"It's just awesome for younger kids coming through to have a team to watch and follow.
"I know that with my teams in Brisbane, Adelaide and the Gold Coast etc - the opportunity for young kids to come and watch our practices or to be a part of our academy ... to see that professional lifestyle it takes to play at that level I think is awesome.
"For those Tassie kids there's now a legit pathway to play professionally or go overseas."
But, like many, the JackJumper namesake took a bit of getting used to for Gibson.
"I think with everyone I was kind of like 'what is that name? It doesn't make much sense'," he said.
"But I like the campaign and the videos they put out about it, I think it was pretty catchy and edgy."
As for swapping green jerseys and joining his home state team, Gibson said he'd have to wait and see what the future holds.
"I'm pretty happy where I am right now and that stuff will all take care of itself when the time comes," he said.
Gibson is contracted with the Phoenix until the end of the 2021 season.