HE was named the Waratah League's best player in 2019, now Quayshun Hawkins is preparing to go one better in 2020.
The point guard helped to lead the Tamworth Thunderbolts to last season's grand final but fell short at the final hurdle.
However, the South Carolina product will be back bigger and better than ever.
"My pre-season has been pretty intense once I left Tamworth last year," Hawkins told the Leader.
"I had two weeks to go home before I had to show up in Seattle and play for my old team, the Mountaineers.
"Since then, I have been doing a lot of working out - two workouts a day, five days a week.
"I've managed to put on some muscle, so I've gotten somewhat bigger, faster and a lot stronger."
Despite falling short in last season's finale against the Canberra Gunners, Hawkins believes the Thunderbolts will once again be the team to beat this year.
"I know, coming into this season, there's going to be teams after us," he said.
"With us having a really good season last year and also me returning, expectations will go up.
"I'm sure that's how teams will look to play us."
The Thunderbolts may have a new-look side in 2020, after players such as Chris Skilton flagged they would not be back this season.
"I know we lost some key guys, but I'm coming a month before the season starts, so hopefully we can develop some good chemistry and start the season off well," Hawkins said.
"I'm really excited about getting the chance to come earlier, so I can adjust faster and get more time in with the boys.
"We'll be taking it game by game, but will most definitely be hunting for that championship this year.
"I know coach [John] Ireland will lead us the right way and give us everything we have to do to be successful."
Like many basketball players and fans across the globe, Hawkins was stunned by Monday's tragic death of former LA Lakers great Kobe Bryant.
"Anybody who knows me knows that Kobe has been my biggest influence in basketball - period, " he said.
"The one thing that always stuck with me about Kobe is that he wasn't always the best player or even the most talented, but he had a work ethic like no other athlete I've ever seen, besides Floyd Mayweather.
"This is why he was my idol."
Hawkins will touch down in Tamworth next week, a month before the Thunderbolts season opener.
"I can't wait to get back to business and also to see the beautiful people in Tamworth," he said.
"I love Tamworth."