After two seasons, and 30 games, playing college basketball, Harry Froling still wasn't sure if he was good enough to take his game to the next level.
Now, following a Rookie of the Year winning season in the NBL, Froling is confident he has what it takes to step up to the American professional level as he gets set to begin NBA workouts this week.
"I left college with doubts in my mind, like maybe I can't do this, then I went back to Australia and going against Josh Boone, former NBA player, Shawn Long, who should be in the NBA, [Andrew] Bogut, playing in the NBA right now ... I'm having good games against these guys and I'm like, I can do this," Froling tells ESPN from Miami, where the center has been prepping for his upcoming workouts.
"It just re-sparked me and now I'm just all guns blazing. I'm super excited and giving it my all and whatever happens I'm just giving it my all right now."
Froling has multiple teams interested in having him work out for them, and sources tell ESPN that he already has work outs for the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, OKC Thunder, Utah Jazz, New Orleans Pelicans and the San Antonio Spurs planned. His team workouts will begin on May 10, so in the meantime Froling is working with an individual trainer to familiarize himself with the American style of game.
"I've got to try and get in the best shape that I can, that's one of the big things, just getting used to the pace of the game - it's different over here to what it is in Australia," Froling says. "I know that from what I've experienced in college, and with the NBA stuff, that's a different level."
Although he doesn't know what to expect from the workouts, Froling is confident that his team is doing a thorough job making sure he'll be ready for whatever comes next at him.
"I'm just working out pretty much full on all day," he says. "And that's just a lot of the drills that we're gonna do and that can be expected, of what Ronnie [Taylor, his trainer] knows that teams are gonna do in the workouts. A lot of just trying to get better."
Froling is cognisant of the fact that he is still a curiosity to a lot of NBA teams. His college career wasn't overwhelming, and the fact that he is even on team's radars is because of his impressive showing in the NBL. He admits that his game was never really suited to the college style of play where offenses are much more structured and he didn't have the freedom to showcase his basketball I.Q. outside Marquette's system.
"I'm a decision maker, a high I.Q. player, and I feel like it was so structured in college, it just really limited me and that's why I struggled with it so much," he says.
The American game is going to be a step up from the NBL, but Froling believes his skills will translate to that level. One of the biggest takeaways he's had from his time in Miami has been that being an interchangeable player is vital.
"I can play the center position, and I can shoot the ball, so I can be a stretch four as well," he says.
"Being able to do things on the floor - play the low block and play on the perimeter and be a decision maker. The way the game's going, a lot of the offense is run through the bigs and you've got to be able to make the right decision and hopefully I can show that I can do that and be versatile."
Froling knows that he won't have much time to make the adjustment. He'll be learning on the fly, so he's watching a lot of tape now to ensure his learning curve won't be as steep when the workouts begin. One player he's been watching a lot of? The Denver Nuggets All-Star Nikola Jokic.
Froling says he's learning a lot about fundamental skills watching the Serbian.
"I've got to be ready go," he says. "I've got to come into these workouts and mentally be prepared, so I'm watching a lot of film and watching a lot of NBA highlights.
"The way Jokic gets his shot off, he's not necessarily jumping over dudes but he always seems to get past them. He's taken a lot of slow, long steps and using his weight and manages to get a shot off every time. Watching how he does it against more athletic guys that are gonna block his shot is really interesting to watch and I definitely think it's gonna help my game whether it's over here, or internationally."
Froling also has some Australians he can lean on for advice through this process as well. Despite playing against Andrew Bogut in the NBL, Froling says he's not going bother the Boomers great while he's on his playoff run with the Warriors, but says he has a close friendship with the Pistons Thon Maker.
"I've talked to Thon a lot," Froling tells ESPN. "We've been really close friends, and he's been telling me, 'you're an NBA player, you just need to put it all together. You've got the pieces to build a Ferrari, you just need to build the Ferrari.'
"That's been the biggest thing for me - putting it all together. I've got the skills, I've got the pieces, it's just figuring it all out and putting it all together."
Froling has the pieces to build the Ferrari, but even so, he's keeping an even keel and not looking too far ahead. There's still a lot of work to do between now and the NBA draft in late-June so Froling isn't putting any expectations upon himself.
"I'm just gonna go out there and do the best I can in the workouts and try prove and establish myself," he says.
"I've got my sights set on the NBA for this year and giving it all for that, and whatever happens, happens. I'm just gonna keep working towards that and whatever's in front of me I'm going to attack. I'm not worried about going back to Australia, going back to Europe. Right now its just this [NBA], and whatever happens happens and then we'll work it out from there."