Jordan Johnson sat by the phone and fervently wished that it might ring. In the middle of a pandemic, the market for basketballing globetrotters entered a great depression with both demand and salaries hitting the floor. “The process of just waiting was really tough,” the American acknowledges.

One month, became two, and then an entire year of his career was simply written off. Some sense of normality has resumed and it was Glasgow Rocks who made the call that ended his exile. When the new British Basketball League campaign tips off tonight, the 26-year-old hopes to quickly return to where he bookmarked his talents.

“I played a little bit when I was back at home before I came over here,” the playmaker confirms. “But it wasn't with refs, coaches, timeouts and stuff like that. So getting my timing back is the challenge.”

It was no vacation while locked down in the rust belt of Illinois. Johnson put his hiatus to good use, caring for the grandparents who helped raise him from boy to man. “My grandad is blind. My grandma, she got health issues,” he reveals. One reason why the few low-ball enquiries mid-season were batted away as an inequitable trade.

Yet he was forcibly evicted when tempting opportunities again knocked. “Why don't you do what you're supposed to do?” urged his grandfather. Rocks player-coach Gareth Murray, bidding to fully overhaul the over-matched squad that came dead last in his first campaign at the helm, was the beneficiary.

Johnson lends the experience that the Scots require for a rebound that begins with this evening’s curtain raiser at Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Cup. He proved his chops at university in Las Vegas where the bright lights were off limits until he had turned 21.

No bad thing, he adds. “So you really just chill out at home. Playing games. Eating. Working out basically. When you're under-age, that's the deal.” He then passed through the Netherlands and Kosovo where his lack of proficiency in Albanian did not prevent an enjoyable sojourn. “If it looked someone was saying something to me, I just asked a team-mate,” he laughs. “It was all welcoming.”

Now for Glasgow. And becoming the pass master who can drive the Rocks back towards respectability. “I want to help Gareth get the team back to where it's supposed to be,” he underlines. “To be top three, top five, being near the top of the league.”