Malcolm Grant woke last Saturday, unsure if his NBL debut would be put on ice for another week.
Hours later, Grant not only played, but also impressively passed his first test in a Wollongong jersey.
The Hawks weren't celebrating victory, but Grant acquitted himself well with 10 points and four assists in 26 minutes off the bench in the 91-74 loss to titleholders New Zealand.
"It's a great league," the 24-year-old point guard said.
"It was probably a tough game to come into against the league leaders. They have great shooters, they barely missed. I was upset about the loss, but all in all it was a learning experience for me.
"It felt good to be out there. Coach [Gordie McLeod] gave me the opportunity to play my natural position of point guard and gave me a chance to showcase my talent, and I appreciate that."
Grant was signed by the Hawks as a replacement for injured import Lance Hurdle.
Club officials initially felt his immigration clearance would not be stamped in time for the clash with the Breakers but he got the green light on Saturday morning.
Grant understandably doesn't want to be viewed as a saviour, but the strapping New Yorker is keen to show he is more than just a stop-gap measure.
"I love my team and I know we're going to be fine once I get up to speed," he said.
"You could tell I was a little hesitant about certain stuff in the offence, but I once I start gelling with the guys, we'll be fine.
"I'm really confident about this team. I know we'll be good and I can't wait for our next game."
Grant's next challenge is this weekend's road trip to Adelaide and Perth.
"I watched the [Perth v Townsville] game [last Friday] and Perth are a good team, a really physical team," he said.
"I haven't seen Adelaide yet but I heard they're really talented, so you never can tell with those teams that are kind of up and down. I'm sure I'll learn more about them when we watch film, and I'll ask coach to make some other films for me so I can get up to speed."
Grant said he is enjoying life in the Gong.
"It's great, I love it. The people are great here and welcomed me with open arms," he said.
"Ossie [captain Oscar Forman] said I've brought the rain with me, but other than that I love it out here. I can see this being a nice place for me to live and play basketball."