Scotty Hopson knows to succeed as a professional athlete you have to embrace the journey and all the twists and turns that come with it.
The journey has been an ever-present theme of the 29-year-old's basketball career and, after stints in Greece, Israel, Turkey, America, Spain, China and Croatia, New Zealand is the next stop on his odyssey.
Each step of the way has been a learning experience for the former All-American high school prospect, and he tells the Herald when he arrives in New Zealand to front for the Breakers this year, he'll be bringing with him an important veteran presence.
"The most important thing for an athlete, I think people need to realise, is that the journey is more important than the actual destination," he tells the Herald. "There's a lot of ups and downs that go into being a professional athlete and if you withstand those ups and downs and stay diligent and continue to just push forward, the game can teach you a lot of good things. Through those experiences I've become a solid player.
"It's not easy. People have to, for one, understand that we're out here to do a job at the end of the day. This is a business; being a professional athlete is not just all basketball, it's business. You have to be able to complete a certain job and do well in that job if you expect to be successful."
The 201cm swingman will join the New Zealand Breakers in the Australian National Basketball League this season, following head coach Dan Shamir to the franchise from Israeli club Hapoel Holon.
"My relationship with Dan was what got me there. I played for him in the Israeli league and we built a relationship while I was playing for him. He's pretty comfortable with my style of play and I'm pretty comfortable with his style of coaching.
"He called me over the summer when he thought he might get the job and just told me to keep it in mind. Not only that, over the last couple of years or so I've been hearing a lot of good things about the Australian League. I just think at this point of my career it makes sense and I'm excited about it."
Hopson was ranked as the No 5 prospect in the States coming out of high school in 2008 in a class the featured current NBA stars DeMar DeRozan, Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson and Jrue Holiday. He played three seasons of collegiate ball with the University of Tennessee before going undrafted in the 2011 NBA draft.
He immediately got to work plying his trade in Europe before earning an NBA debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014. He was soon acquired by the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the NBA's development league where he went on to post a team single-game record 52 points.
Having also spent time with the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder, Hopson knows he has plenty to offer the Breakers both on and off the court.
Interestingly enough, fellow Breakers recruit RJ Hampton was also ranked as a top five prospect coming out of high school this year, and opted to join the professional ranks with the Breakers instead of go to college to get ready for the 2020 NBA draft.
As a result, the eyes of the basketball world will be draw to the Auckland-based franchise, with a particular interest expected to come from NBA scouts casting their eye over Hampton.
Hopson says he was yet to give too much thought to the NBA interest Hampton brings to the team, and is simply looking forward to the next step in his journey.
"I'm just trying to stay focused on the process, man. I've learned the NBA is only 400 and something players in the whole world. It's tough to get into and there's a lot of good players who aren't playing in there.
"All I can do is focus on the process, man, and focus on the journey. I plan to be successful while I'm there. I plan to do well, to be a great teammate and a leader for anyone that I can help on this basketball team. If NBA scouts decide they want to sign me because of the great things I do on the basketball court and in the locker room then that will be great, but I'm just totally focused on the process."