It has been nearly a two-year process, but Horsham's Levi Munyard has reached his goal.
The 15-year-old has been named as an emergency for Victoria Country's Under-18 basketball National Championships in Brisbane.
"I was over the moon. I couldn't really believe it," Munyard said.
"I got a phone call maybe three days after the Albury Cup [Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup], the coach rang and offered me a spot as an emergency. I accepted it straight away, it's just amazing."
The squad of 12 with six emergencies includes some familiar faces to Munyard.
Alistair Smaniotto and Floyd Brooks are teammates of his with the Ballarat Miners.
"Floyd has been my mate for a few years. I did the state team with him last year and a few other teams... We've become really good mates," Munyard said.
Smaniotto recently moved from Geelong to Ballarat. "We get along pretty well."
Three members of the NBA Global Academy, including Dash Daniels (younger brother of Dyson, a member of the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA), are also in the squad.
"To come across them is amazing. I get a bit overwhelmed sometimes; you see them on social media and everything," Munyard said.
"But then you realise you're coming against them, then becoming teammates, it's pretty surreal."
Munyard's selection in the suad stems from his time in Basketball Victoria's State Development Program and then his performances at the ACJBC.
"I was really excited but nervous at the same time. But I knew I had to take the opportunity to play and do my best," Munyard said.
He credited a pre-tournament meeting with his coaches that drove him throughout the carnival.
"They were really big on being really professional and being a good teammate," Munyard said.
"Just helping out team managers, coaches, anything I knew I had to do. Then cleaning, folding clothes and packing them away. Just the little things."
On the court, a strong performance in the first game saw his confidence build.
After some consistent performances, his coaches pulled Munyard aside for another meeting.
"The coaches were saying you're really proving us wrong because they didn't expect me to perform this well, as I was originally picked as an emergency," he said.
Munyard's side eventually lost the bronze medal match, but "It was just amazing to come against the best players in the country and New Zealand."
The trips to Ballarat and Melbourne for camps and matches will continue.
Brisbane will host the Under-18 National Championships from April 7-14.