The experience of five national titles, 150-plus international appearances and nearly 500 NBL games will be guiding the Tasmania JackJumpers into their inaugural season in the national competition.
New Zealand basketball institution Mika Vukona has joined the staff of the Tasmanian franchise in what is being described as "a key basketball role".
Vukona, who played 476 NBL games, will become a consultant to the JackJumpers' basketball program.
He won four championships with the New Zealand Breakers and another with South Dragons and played 152 games for the Tall Blacks.
"I'm really excited to take on this role with the JackJumpers and it's an opportunity that fits my wheelhouse perfectly," Vukona said. "This type of role and situation was always one that I relished and wanted as a player.
"To be given an opportunity to help a team like the Tasmania JackJumpers in its maiden season in the NBL and to connect with the playing group will be awesome. I'm really looking forward to sharing all the knowledge and experiences that I've picked up along the way as a player with the staff and playing group. I'm ready to help them out in anyway."
Born in Fiji, Vukona grew up in the South Island city of Nelson and became a staple for the NZ team, winning Commonwealth Games silver and bronze medals as far apart as 2006 and 2018. The 38-year-old won NBL titles in 2009, 2011-2013 and 2015.
Tasmania JackJumpers chief executive Simon Brookhouse said Vukona was a pivotal appointment for the team.
"We are delighted to have somebody of the calibre of Mika join us as we prepare for our first season," he said.
"Mika embodies many of qualities the JackJumpers want to pride ourselves on as a team. He was fiercely determined on the court but humble off it. He will be a tremendous asset to head coach Scott Roth as we build our roster but also help us create a strong culture."
Roth was also pleased as the JackJumpers prepare to make their NBL debut in October.
"Mika will be a great help to me as we build the JackJumpers into a championship calibre team on and off the court," he said. "He will be a driving force in helping me build our culture and will be a great asset in the development of our playing roster."
Coincidentally, Vukona's Tasmanian move was announced as the Breakers prepare to play four matches at the Silverdome.
However, the first two of those fixtures - against Adelaide on April 6 and Perth on April 10 - have been postponed following the announcement of a three-day lockdown in Brisbane and the resulting border closures.