We meet Harald Frey in the hall at Engebråten, where the basketball adventure starts. He shows off his skills with the ball in his hand, and scores point after point, from behind the three-point line, and all the way to the curve.
Just like he has done during his four years in the college basketball series for the Montana State Bobcats.
For scoring points is not new to Frey. Only eleven players have scored more points than he in the Big Sky Conference, Bobcats’ division, through the ages.
He is also just the second player to ever reach both 1800 points and 500 assists in the division, the first since 1978.
– There are things I did not dream about before I got in there. I was just trying to get in, get playing time and be on a winning team. It has exceeded all expectations, says Frey to NRK.
In addition to this, Frey also went viral when he decided the match against the University of North Carolina Greensboro at the last second with a shot from his own half of the field.
Norwegian national anthem
How highly valued the Norwegian is in the club, they got a clue in his last match for the team.
The last home game of the season is called “senior-night”, and is an evening where the school’s graduating students are recognized. And for Frey, this year’s “senior night” was a memorable evening.
Norwegian flags were hung up all over the hall, Frey said, and just before the start of the match he got another surprise.
– Before each match, they usually play the American national anthem. But just before this match they played the Norwegian. It was quite strong, and something I will remember for a very, very long time.
His team was also on the verge of doing something big this season. They were in the quarterfinals of the series playoffs, and could glimpse the chance to play in what in the US is called March Madness, a month full of playoffs for the college basketball series, where only the best clubs meet.
– It’s the biggest sporting event in the United States. Then the whole United States stops for a month and join the campaigns. It was a chance we had to play in front of the best NBA clubs, and in front of the whole United States, Frey said.
But due to the virus outbreak, all college basketball was canceled for the season, and Frey missed an opportunity to show off in a large showcase like this tournament is.
The dream of professional life
Nor is it the only showcase the virus has put a stop to this season.
Every summer, the Summer League is held, a tournament where players can get the opportunity to show themselves to the NBA clubs. But this one will not be any of this year.
– It is sad. The Summer League was one of my goals for the season. It is a good showcase, where you play against the very best, young players. But it’s the Summer League again next year, so then I can just continue working, and maybe I’ll leave then, says Frey.
Frey is currently clubless, after his college career has now ended. But it will probably not be long before he is back on the field in new suit colors, either in a European club, or maybe back in the USA.
What he now focuses on is to stay in shape, and be ready to seize the chances that may arise.
And if he does, the main character himself is clear that he can become the first Norwegian in the NBA since Torgeir Bryn played for the LA Clippers in the 1989-1990 season.
– Yes, I mean it. I will always “bet” on myself. As I have said to my family and friends: you do not need all 30 teams to like you, you only need one team. A situation that is right for you, and that is what I work for.