Dorka Juhász was the last Lynx player to leave the practice courts Tuesday at Mayo Clinic Square, where she had found herself two months before on the doorstep of a childhood dream thousands of miles away from the place it started: Hungary.
But Juhász was on the outside looking in.
It didn't matter that she uprooted herself from her home country as a teenager in pursuit of a collegiate career, where she finished with a slew of accomplishments at Connecticut and Ohio State.
Juhász was a second-round WNBA draft pick.
In the WNBA, where 12 teams are allowed only 12 full-time players, her rookie contract marked nothing more than a chance to make the final roster. No guarantees, no matter how many All-Big East or All-Big Ten teams she'd made.
Juhász had to prove herself. How else would her mother be able to wake up before dawn to watch Lynx games?
"She [is] up for every single game that I play," Juhász said. "A lot of times, especially these West Coast games, it starts at 7 p.m.: That's nine hours difference. So she wakes up at 3 a.m., 4 a.m. in the morning watching me play."
Hajnalka Juhász, known as Hajnalka Balázs for much of her playing career, could've only imagined such an opportunity to play professionally in the United States. She became a heralded name in Hungarian basketball before she reportedly retired in 1999 for the birth of her daughter.
"A lot goes back to my mom," Juhász said. "... I always [wanted] to fill her shoes and be like her."
The WNBA had finished its third season that year, with only two players from Hungary.
The game, at all levels, has since gone global.
And Juhász's story, one of high stakes and sacrifice, appears to be a credit to that evolution.
"When you're in college, you get recruited, you're there, you have your spot," Juhász said. "It's much more secure. Coming into the [WNBA], it's a whole new level, a whole new different world."
She was no stranger to "healthy pressure," having participated in tryouts and training sessions hosted by her home country from age 12 — as the child of a Hungarian national team legend.
"You go there, there's 20 girls, you're competing for a spot," Juhász said. "There's nothing guaranteed there, either. I was fortunate to do that from a very young age in my country, always going through these camps, these cuts and being in that pressure situation before."
The résumé Juhász has built is self-evident, with all of her youth national team activity culminating in a standout stat line after seven games at the FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup in 2017. She averaged 11.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 0.6 blocks per game.
More than a half decade removed, her resiliency remained.
After having played 9 minutes per game in May, the 6-5 forward has averaged nearly five points and five rebounds per game as an 11-game starter who has also anchored the Lynx's defense against some of the WNBA's best bigs: A'ja Wilson, Brittney Griner and Nneka Ogwumike.
To think, her spot was not secured until about a month after she signed.
"There were some things we liked about her but you just never know how a player is going to transition to our league," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "I wouldn't say she became a lock to make our roster until halfway through training camp. Then we started going, 'OK, we like that one.' The things that she was doing, her maturity. She was unfazed."
Behind that cool exterior, though, is still someone who misses her family.
After another few weeks, Hajnalka will no longer need her early alarms ahead of a Lynx game. She will be at Target Center with Juhász's father, Zsolt, and maybe even her older brother, Gergely, for the team's three-game home stand in late July.
It will be their first time seeing Juhász play in person as a professional.
"They already got the flights and everything, so I'm super excited," Juhász said.
"I don't really go home a lot at all so whenever they can bring a little home to me, that's always so good."