IT was the first thing that Keegan Harvey saw when he walked onto the court for practice each day at Montverde Academy - Ben Simmons' national high school player of the year jersey hanging from the rafters.
Simmons, the Phildelphia 76ers superstar who began playing junior basketball in Newcastle, is the renowned Florida prep school's most famous alumni.
He led Montverde to the national championship in 2015 in his senior year.
Kouat Noi, another Newcastle basketball product now playing for Cairns in the NBL, was part of a wider Eagles championship squad.
Harvey, a 211cm four-man, will join them on the school's wall of fame after his varsity team - spearheaded by projected 2021 No.1 NBA draft pick Cade Cunningham - went 25-0 for the season. They were ranked No.1 for the National Championship in April, which was cancelled due to Covid-19.
"Montverde has nine different teams depending on your playing ability," Harvey said. "When I got there last August, I was initially in the top postgrad national team. That is mostly for international players who want to come and showcase themselves for college scholarships.
"In October I got moved up into the varsity team. It was an amazing learning curve. Those guys are really talented. Some of them are already NBA prospects and ready for the league. We went 25-0 and beat most teams by 40 points. Some people regarded us as the best high school team of all time.
"In our main championship tournament I got a bit fair bit of court time.
"In the hall there are pictures of the championship teams. We will have our photo on the wall too because we were awarded the championship. Ben Simmons' national player of the year jersey hangs from the rafters. You see that at each practice session. It definitely humbled me knowing that other Australians have taken this step."
Harvey, takes the next step in his career on Wednesday when he returns to the US to attend the College of Charlseton, a division one school in South Carolina. As well as play basketball, Harvey, who went to Newcastle Grammar before finishing high school at Montverde, is studying systems engineering.
"I'm excited to get over there. A big thing for me [when choosing a college] was making sure I get to play," Harvey said. "The benefit of having played on the varsity team at Montverde is that I'm ready for college. The competition at [Montverde] training will be as hard as anything I get at college. I want to follow the path and make it to the NBA. That has always been my dream."
Charleston coach Earl Grant, in an article on the college's website, described Harvey as a "unique player because of his size and skill set".
"He has a high basketball IQ and great feel for the game," the coach said. "He shoots the ball really well and is a great passer. His combination of size and skill will allow him to play inside and out."
Basketball is in Harvey's DNA. His dad Tom was the Newcastle Hunters import from 1991-94 and now coaches the Maitland Mustangs youth team.
Although playing from an early age, Keegan was a late bloomer.
"Up until top-age under-18s, I wasn't as big or athletically ready," he said. "I always had to rely on my outside shot. When I it youth league, I filled out into my body and grew another five inches. The past couple of years, being able to use those wing skills at my height has been great.
"My dad taught me to shoot from a young age. He was a different type of player to me. He is a bit bulkier and was more of a true centre. He was a very good shooter but he never got the chance to show it. He taught me to shoot well and use it."
As well as develop on the court, Harvey excelled academically at Montverde. He topped English literature and calculus in his advanced placement classes and achieved a grade point average of three point eight out of a possible four.
"The college have set up a new systems engineering program and paired it up with a couple of companies like Volvo and Boeing," Harvey said. "I think it will turn out to be a great degree for me.
"They usually have the athletes over for summer classes. I didn't really need it because I have finished my credits in high school. It's more a chance to settle in and get straight into the weight room and get to know my teammates."