Perhaps the hard part is done, but Corey Webster knows the road to his redemption is still only half travelled.
Last Saturday - a day he had counted down in his head for the past 12 months - Webster emerged from his second drug suspension, stepping straight out onto the court for the final game of the NZ Breakers' pre-season series against Wollongong Hawks.
"The days leading up to it, I was really excited," he grins. "As soon as game day came, I was ready - I was all smiles and loved being back on the court."
About five minutes after tip-off, coach Andrej Lemanis called his name and suddenly Webster was back where he belonged.
"I made my first shot from just inside the three, so it felt good to make that first shot back."
Later, he connected from the arc and finished with 10 points, not bad considering all that had gone before.
"Corey scores - he still has that ability," shrugs Lemanis. "He's a bit of a slippery customer at the offensive end and has the ability to get himself open.
"I thought he passed the ball particularly well and had a couple of shots rim out that, had they tone down, he would have had very good stats."
So Webster (23) has convinced the Breakers he deserves a third chance and certainly, he now seems to understand - he's dead lucky to play the sport he loves for a job and he needs to respect the opportunities he'd been given.
But before his latest indiscretion - and after Kirk Penney's departure for Europe - Webster was probably in line for promotion up the Breakers rotation. The Australian NBL champions filled that void with Aussie veteran Daryl Corletto, who became an integral part of their title defence and was re-signed for this season.
Now Webster has a real struggle on his hands to reclaim that lost ground from Corletto and veteran CJ Bruton, who has become his role model and mentor through tough times.
"The thing with Corey, that we've spoken about, is his application at the defensive end and being great off the ball defensively," says Lemanis. "If he can continue to do that, he can really help us."
Webster seems ready to rise to the challenge.
"Definitely, it's going to be a tough battle," he says. "But the good thing about the coaching staff and the Breakers family is they're not going to judge me on my past - they're going to judge me on how I'm working now.
"All I've got to do is come in and work hard, and contribute any way I can.
"Obviously, I've earned some of the Breakers' trust back, because they gave me another chance, but I've still got a lot to prove. It's only early days still, but I'm really looking forward to it."
Webster gets another chance to stake his claim when the Breakers attend the official ANBL pre-season tournament at Dandenong this weekend. The champions begin their schedule against semifinal rivals Townsville Crocs at 7.30pm Thursday, local time.