This time last year Rory Lobb was a promising young basketballer with just one game of amateur football under his belt.
Now he has a realistic shot at a spot on an AFL list.
The 20-year-old Swan Districts ruckman will be one of 22 WA youngsters trying to impress talent scouts at the AFL national draft combine in Melbourne this week.
But his story could have been different, if not for the sporting intervention of some of his mates.
Lobb had been playing for Kalamunda in the State Basketball League before being convinced to play with WA Amateur Football League club Swan Athletic.
After just one amateur game, he was invited to Swan Districts on the recommendation of reserves coach Andrew Pruyn, and ended up playing 12 league games as the black-and-whites charged into the finals.
Lobb, 205cm and 98kg, said his rise through the ranks had come as a big surprise.
He is excited about the draft combine, which begins today.
"It's a good opportunity to go over and see what I can do with the boys," Lobb said.
"My expectations are low because it's my first year of football."
Lobb has already had talks with seven clubs and appears likely to be picked up by an AFL club following an outstanding debut season with Swan Districts.
The athletic youngster was called on to step into the lead ruck role after premier big man Wes Lammie walked out of Swans midway through the year.
Swans football manager Phil Smart said Lobb had stepped up under the guidance of ruck coach and former club great Travis Edmonds, but remained a work in progress.
"He's done extremely well and really stepped up to the next level once Wes Lammie quit," Smart said.
Lobb grew up as a West Coast fan and models his game on that of Dean Cox.
But despite his childhood allegiance, he would prefer to be picked up by a Melbourne-based club.
"I'd like to go over to Melbourne somewhere and just try something new," Lobb said.
"A fresh start would be exciting and a good experience."
Swans teammate Dayle Garlett shapes as one of the top picks at next month's national draft after sorting out off-field woes that deterred AFL clubs from selecting him last season.A fresh start would be exciting and a good experience." *Rory Lobb *