Five years after falling in love with Tasmania while playing for the Hobart Chargers, Jarrad Weeks was thrilled when the state was granted the NBL's 10th licence.
The point guard wasted little time putting his hand up to join the Tasmania JackJumpers and is already feeling at home beneath the welcome embrace of Mount Wellington.
"I loved my time in Hobart, it was phenomenal," he said.
"I've been talking to my agent about the JackJumpers for a while. To come back down here and represent Tasmania is something I was really keen on doing. My wife and I really love this city.
"Going back to 2016, they were so keen to get a team down here and it's been like that ever since."
Having completed two weeks' hotel quarantine with his wife, Michelle, and new-born son, Freddie, the man known as 'Agent 97' has settled back into Tasmanian life and can't wait to be part of the state's entry into the NBL, echoing the sentiment of his new teammates.
"One of the key reasons for signing is wanting to be here long term, the opportunity to build from scratch and build a culture, it's not something a lot of guys get to go through. To be here, to see it through and to pass that on to the next guys coming up is a really important thing to me.
"The leadership side of it - telling these guys what to do, it's the joys of being a point guard. You get to yell at everyone with no repercussions so [I'll be] trying to lead these guys from the front."
The Melbourne-born 183cm 32-year-old's NBL career has included three stints with Sydney Kings plus Illawarra Hawks and Cairns Taipans while he also represented the Southland Sharks and New Zealand Breakers across the ditch.
Having also played competitively in Tasmania when the Sharks took on the Southern Huskies at the Silverdome in the 2019 NZNBL, Weeks will again don the number 97 in the 2021-22 NBL after finding success in the 'Blood Jersey' at Illawarra.
The number and nickname have already caught on at the JackJumpers.
"Ryan, our physio, actually measured my legs and they're 97 centimetres so that's his reason that I'm Agent 97," he said.
Head coach Scott Roth says Weeks' relatively small stature but big impact embodies the JackJumper spirit.
"Not everyone is a Tasmanian player, I think certain guys fit this state better than others," he said. "He has been here before, I think he's a little bit of an underdog, he's had a rough last year.
"I saw the hunger in him. His leadership and versatility - he'll be a great mentor for our players."
Weeks was among five players who hit the court on Tuesday as they acclimatise to Tasmanian conditions and Roth's program.
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