When Danny Huffor boarded a plane for Glasgow, Scotland on Sept. 7 he was chasing his dream to be a professional basketball player.
"I am excited and I greatly appreciate the opportunity, he said then. "I will do everything I can to make it work (with the Glasgow Rocks)."
The former Lely grad and Marco Island resident played so well that he was chosen for Team Scotland to play Team Britain in a "Friendly" two weeks ago.
All he did was score 35 points, out of the team's 72, in an 82-72 loss.
He will be on Team Scotland again, playing in the European Championship in early July.
He is the team spokesman for a weekly radio program. Is the model for Rocks clothing goods and is part of the team that is involved in Jump2it, which focuses on young children to promote increased physical activity, while highlighting the risks of poor diet, smoking and drug/alcohol abuse.
Fortunately for Huffor and the team he has duel citizenship, which does not take away from allowing four non-citizens (Americans) on the team. His mother Carolyn's family lives about 30 minutes from Glasgow.
"It was fortunate too that Danny was there when my dad, Haig Moffat, passed away on Feb. 24, " Carolyn Huffor said. "Danny went there and brought tapes of his games. They'd visit and go through the game tape. It was the highlight of my dad's week."
While his Glasgow Rocks finished fifth in the regular British Basketball League (BBL) season, it caught fire in the playoffs, not losing out until the semifinals.
In the team's first game of the season he played 10 minutes.
"I was nervous, it was really at a high pace, " he said. "It was a way different level than I was used to in college."
Yet, in just his second game, as a shooting guard, Huffor pumped in 19 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and made 5 steals.
He credits guard Mike Green of Columbus Ohio, with his opportunities to score.
"He makes things happen," Huffor said. "He creates openings and often kicks the ball back out to me. He also is a scorer himself, being named BBL Player of the Month."
Huffor was named Player of the Week twice.
He credits his mother with his motivation.
"It definitely comes from my mother," he said. "She has always helped me, always motivates me."
On the Rocks, playing coach Sterling Davis has been a major reason for Huffor's development.
"He sits down with you, talks with you," Huffor said. "He understands where I need to improve. He is a role model."
Davis appreciates Huffor's play.
"Danny was great for us this season for a few reasons,' he said. "Firstly, no one thought he would have made the impact he did for us this season. His contributions to the team, especially when we were down on bodies, was huge and it gave him the great opportunity to show his capabilities.
"Also, he showed great maturity as his roles changed throughout the course of the season. He never complained and gave everything he had when his time was called. I could not have been more pleased when it came to working with a guy like him."
Huffor did not get home sick. "I've been away at college and in summer I am often up in Tampa, working out with former NBA players," he said.
That's where he met his girl friend, Denise Medina, who was visiting friends. In the daytime Medina works Homeland Security in Washington, D.C. and is a Washington Redskins cheerleader on weekends. Skype keeps them connected.
Although it will be contract time next month, Huffor feels comfortable with his basketball future.
General Manager Daniel Bajwoluk is very pleased the way Huffor has contributed.
"Danny has been somewhat of a revelation for us this season," he said. "When we signed him at the beginning of the season we had no idea that he would be such a critical player within our roster.
"He has a very special passion for the game and it comes across every time he steps onto the basketball court. His attitude and work ethic are second to none, and we hope that we can welcome him back again next season."
Huffor is more than willing to come back. One of his goals is being able to help the Rocks win the BBL.
"From Day 1 the management has been outstanding to me. Team owners (Ian and Celeste Reed) take us in like we are their own kids," he said.
"I believe there is something about being loyal. I'm definitely living the dream."