After getting his first taste of success at the professional level, Dedrick Basile wasn't about to let his game get stagnant.
The statistics show that Basile, a guard who played an instrumental role on the two best Division-I teams in Cal State Bakersfield history, had a great first season of professional basketball.
Playing with Oulun NMKY of Finland's First Division, he put up great numbers in the 2018-19 season, averaging 23.9 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 3.6 steals in 22 games.
Feeling he'd made a decent first-impression, Basile spent the offseason fine-tuning his entire offensive arsenal, hoping it would make a difference when he returned to Finland for a second season.
"I wanted to change my game up to adjust to the way they were playing," he said. "I wanted to get faster, be more aggressive. I improved every step of my game."
The improvements in year two were undeniable, as Basile finished the 19-20 season as the top player in his league. His numbers spiked in most categories in his return to Oulun NMKY, as he averaged 28.4 points, 8.4 assists, 6.1 rebounds and 3.7 steals.
And when Eurobasket.com announced its All-Finnish 1st Division A Awards on Tuesday, Basile cleaned up. Not only was he named the league's Player of the Year, he also captured the Guard of the Year, Import Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Awards.
Though saying he "wasn't expecting to win Defensive Player of the Year," Basile proudly admits he was anticipating all the other awards.
Of all his improvements, Basile was most pleased with those made to his jump shot. After shooting 49.8 percent from the floor and 33.6 percent from 3-point range in his first professional season, he connected on 58.9 percent of his field goals and 42.5 percent of his 3s in his second.
"My jump shot just got more consistent this year," he said. "That was one of the biggest adjustments I made. I was much better and they saw it."
Though optimistic he has a bright future at the professional level, Basile, like most athletes, is facing a bit of a murky present.
Basile, who lives with his girlfriend and son in Bakersfield in the offseason, had to return home earlier than planned after the spread of Coronavirus forced the First Division to cancel its postseason.
A hectic environment at the airport aside, Basile made it home without incident last Friday. But since returning to Bakersfield, he's been mostly confined to the indoors, unable to workout.
Not currently under contract in Finland, he enters free agency at an uncertain time, unaware of where his next opportunity will come as teams from all over the world have suspended operations.
But Basile insists the uncertainty doesn't concern him.
Feeling he's entering his athletic prime, he believes high-level basketball, be it internationally or domestically in the G-League, is around the corner. And if such an opportunity arises, Basile is fully confident he'll take advantage.
"I'm pretty excited for my future," he said. "After I got these awards, I feel like a good team might take a chance on me. And that's all I need is an opportunity to go out there and play."