Corey Webster is back with the New Zealand Breakers, and he has a lot to prove.
Webster has returned to his hometown club on a three-year deal, with the 29-year-old back for a third stint with the team he has spent nine years playing for.
It wasn't a long time away for Webster, who parted ways with the Breakers at the end of a difficult 2016-2017 season. The shooting guard battled with injuries throughout the campaign, and was involved in an off-court drama, being discharged without conviction in an assault case.
At the time, Breakers general manager Dillon Boucher acknowledged that the off-court incidents came into the equation for moving on from Webster, noting that "Corey's made some mistakes in his life" and "that is going to come into factor when you're looking to re-sign a guy."
Now, 14 months on, the Breakers - eternal preachers of "family values" - have changed their tune, arguing that Webster is a different man - and the high-quality scorer is saying all the right things.
"In my time away from the club, spending it overseas with the majority of it being by myself, I did a lot of growing as a person and learned a lot about myself and where I want to be," says Webster.
"I think it's the perfect time for me to come back - not only as a basketball player but as a man and a father - my son lives in Auckland and I need to be around him.
"I've got a lot to prove on and off the court - it was always at the back of my mind that I wanted to come back and prove that to myself and the people that support the club."
The Breakers are - publicly - buying into Webster's off-court rejuvenation, and it certainly helps that Webster is the best New Zealand player realistically available to the franchise.
The best shooting guard in New Zealand by a massive margin, Webster had a strong season with Ironi Nahariya in the competitive Israeli league, averaging 15.3 points and four assists on a 41 per cent clip from deep and compiling a 55 per cent True Shooting Percentage.
That followed a MVP season with the Wellington Saints in the New Zealand NBL, with Webster - currently playing in China - showing that he is fully healthy and back to the peak of his powers. He becomes the Breakers' eighth and final local signing for the upcoming season, with just three import slots left to fill.
So, when an elite Kiwi player comes knocking, eager to rejoin the club and already having a strong relationship with former teammate and now Breakers coach Kevin Braswell, it's understandable why the Breakers (under new ownership) would quickly come around on a return.
Boucher - who confirmed Webster will still have the opportunity to chase NBA opportunities if they become available - believes Webster is also ready to make a difference off the court for the franchise.
"There's no doubting Corey's ability on the court, and off court Corey really wants to come back and be a difference - he wants to be a true leader of this club. He wants to prove to the New Zealand public that he's grown up. He's had some opportunities while he's been away to evaluate himself, his career, his life, his family and what's important to him.
"Talking to him, it was a different Corey Webster to what we've seen before."
Whether that's hope talking, or truly the beginning of a new era for Corey Webster, only time will tell.
Breakers roster: Shea Ili, Jarrad Weeks, Corey Webster, Tom Abercrombie, Jordan Ngatai, Finn Delany, Tai Wesley, Majok Majok.