The last time Harry and Sam Froling played together they were barely nudging 6 ft 4. Given it was the under 12's, it's fair to say they still dominated the boards.
They've only been rivals at NBL level, Sam in Hawks colours and Harry with Adelaide and Brisbane. It makes the upcoming season a special opportunity for the pair, with Harry joining Sam in Wollongong.
They may be on the same team, but early indications are it won't see an end to the shade they've long been willing to throw each other's way.
"He's driving around in an Escalade knockoff so he's the big dog around Illawarra," Harry said, only half tongue-in-cheek.
"I'm not going to step on his toes too much. He's the big dog in town."
It fits with Sam's 'Big Smoove' nickname as officially listed on the NBL's website. In the serious stakes though, Harry says the shift to Illawarra is the perfect fit.
Not only will he re-unite with brother Sam, but he'll play under Brian Goorjian who had their father Shane on his roster in his first season as NBL head coach with the Eastside Spectres in 1988.
"Everyone knows Goorj's resume and the chance to play with Sam was definitely a big factor in me coming down here," Froling said.
"We haven't done that since probably under 12's local comp in Townsville. Obviously there's up and downs in COVID seasons, you never know what's going to happen, so it's good to be around people you want to be around and with family.
"Hanging out with him and going against him every day in practice, it feels like we're back in the backyard. We've got respect for each other, obviously love each other, and getting out there to compete together is a cool thing..
"Goorj is obviously one of the best in the world at developing people and I thought this'd be a good place to come down and get better."
He'll form part of a formidable front-court rotation alongside Sam, Tokyo Olympian Duop Reath and skipper AJ Ogilvy return in a front court that more than held its own last season.
With Australian Emus star Akoldah Gak also shifting into to fulltime roster, Froling shapes as the perfect complement with his ability to shoot the long-ball and stretch the floor.
"We've got a massive line-up," Froling said.
"We've got three guys 6'10-6'11 and then one or two seven-footers. It's a bit more old school basketball, AJ and Sam will probably be around the rim, Sam will be off the dribble more than I would be.
"Duop can stretch the floor as well, so between the four-five of us, it's going to be different looks with the big dynamics. We've got guys who can shoot, guys who are more predominantly post players and we have a lot of options.
"I've got to earn my stripes. It'll definitely help me being able to shoot the ball and give us a different look but all our bigs are so talented and I think it can be a pretty special year."
He may not have grabbed the same attention as he did in his NBL Rookie of the Year campaign three years ago, year, but Froling averaged eight points, four boards and 17 minutes a game - all career highs - with Brisbane last year.
He's confident he can carve out his own niche in Wollongong.
"I'll come in and accept my role, whatever it may be," he said.
"Whether it's coming off the bench or starting, playing defence, if I can contribute to the best of my ability and help this team win a championship I'll consider that a good season [personally].
"Where I'm at with my career right now I need to develop and I need to fix a few things. At the end of the day, hopefully I can get better than I was last season and improve.
"As long as I've improved that's what I'll be happy with. I'm not hellbent on expectations, it's just to go out there, work hard, let my game do the talking and help this team win."
Goorjian has returned from the Boomers bronze-medal campaign in Tokyo, where a famous 'gold vibes only' mentality drove a push to the country's first trip to the Olympic podium.
As a newbie, Froling sees a similar approach at the Snakepit as the club shrugs off its 'battlers' tag under new ownership.
"This is the first team I've come into where they've been in playoffs the year before," Froling said.
"Every other team I've been on it's been a new roster and bunch of different guys coming in. You'd look at the roster and think 'yeah, this can be a championship team' but there was never really any carryover.
"For these guys to have a bit of carryover from their success last year, being one game away from the grand final, adding one or two pieces, it's an exciting thing to come into.
"I know the Boomers all spoke about gold vibes only and Goorj has brought that over here. I don't take for granted how long or short your career can be and our goal is to win a championship."
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