Sam Short's professional future might hinge on the 2020 NBL1 South season.
The Ballarat native re-signed with the Ballarat Miners on Friday, for a fourth consecutive year with the club.
He will return to the Miners on the back of an NBL campaign with Melbourne United, which he is still in the midst of.
The combo-guard is in the third year of a development contract with United, set expire at the end of the NBL season.
Ballarat Miners head coach Brendan Joyce said a good season with the Miners could help him secure a full-time job in the NBL or overseas the following year.
"If he plays as well as he did last year, that will hold him in good stead," he said.
"I don't want to put too much pressure on him, the focus will be on how he practices and how he prepares."
"If you do that you're going to improve."
WATCH: SHORT'S MESSAGE TO BALLARAT
Short enjoyed a career-best year under Joyce in 2019, averaging almost 12 points and five assists a game.
He thrived a starter, starting all 22 games for the squad, after a frustrating season off the bench the year prior.
"I think before I got there he was frustrated because he was playing a secondary role to Peter Hooley," Joyce said.
"I thought he just needed more responsibility and I thought he handled that well last year."
Joyce said Short's position with the team will vary in 2020, depending what the team needs from night to night.
He said to be successful in the modern game, guards like Short need to be able to score and create, which in turn creates opportunities down the track.
"I want my players to be versatile and I work on coaching them to be versatile because that will open doors," he said.
"He's got to develop into a quicker passer to get the ball to his teammates, and also to continue to develop his outside shot.
"If he does that this year, he should be playing minutes in the NBL the following year."
After starting his coaching career in Ballarat, Joyce said it was important to keep local-bred talent such as Short in hometown uniform.
Miners elite teams manager Glenn White said Short was a great role model to the city's young talent.
"It's always great to have an NBL player on your roster, but having a homegrown, local NBL player from our region return and know they'll be able to continue to improve under the guidance of the club is a real credit to everyone involved." White said.
White said he was excited to see what was in store for Short in 2020.