Ballarat's Anthony Fisher has broken through to the professional ranks after signing with the Cairns Taipans for the 2019/20 NBL season.
The former Ballarat Miner was awarded a full-time contract with the club after transitioning from a development player to a training player last season.
It is the first NBL contract for the 25-year-old who arrived in the far-north in 2015.
Fisher joined the Taipans after a stint with the Perth Wildcats and Ballarat Miners in the SEABL competition.
Since his arrival, Fisher has played seven NBL games for the club and has established himself as one of the pre-eminent guards in the Queensland Basketball League.
Playing for the Cairns Marlins, Fisher won the 2016 QBL Championship in his first year and has helped take the team to the play-offs every season since.
This year, he averaged 16.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game playing under Taipans assistant Jamie O'Loughlin.
As part of the Taipans Academy, he won the Aron Baynes Award for Best Athlete, and his commitment to the team was also acknowledged at the club's annual awards night in February when he was named Club Person of the Year.
Cairns Taipans head coach Mike Kelly said he couldn't be happier to finally give the talented point guard the opportunity he had been working for.
"This signing was a basketball decision and a team decision - but it's extra special that it's Anthony Fisher, who we all know has worked his tail off to get this opportunity through both the Taipans and the Marlins over the years. I'm excited for him to be a part of this," said Kelly.
Fisher is the ninth player added to the Taipans roster, joining Scott Machado, Cameron Oliver, Majok Deng, Nate Jawai, Kouat Noi, Jarrod Kenny, Mirko Djeric, George Blagojevic and Fabijan Krslovic.
Kelly said he has always liked Fisher's game and he knew how to run a team.
"He's done that very well all throughout practice last year and has demonstrated that with the Marlins. He's got a good skills package, the ability to run a team, shoot the ball and defend, and he wraps it up with toughness on the court."