The Perth Wildcats have signed exciting 2013 second round NBA Draft pick James Ennis as an import on their roster for the upcoming NBL season.
The Atlanta Hawks selected Ennis as the 50th pick in June’s NBA Draft, before immediately trading him to back-to-back NBA Champions the Miami Heat.
With an abundance of superstar wing players such as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the Heat picked up Ennis with the view of him playing in the 2014/15 NBA season, when a host of their veterans, including Shane Battier and Ray Allen, become free agents. This means he can play for the Wildcats this season and still remain property of Miami, where he will likely return next season. His contract at the ‘Cats includes an NBA out-clause for the 2013/14 season where he could return to the Heat if the opportunity arises.
Standing at 200cm and weighing in at 90kg, Ennis is a swingman who was an All-American senior at Long Beach State University and was named Big West Player of the Year after turning heads with standout performances in the 2012/13 season.
The 23-year-old is an explosive athlete with a wing-span of almost seven feet and the hops to allow him to fly over helpless defenders.
The American is excited to be coming to Perth.
“I can’t wait to get over to Australia and join my new teammates,” said Ennis.
“Obviously I would have liked to be playing in the NBA this season, but it’s a huge opportunity to develop my skills in a good competition and put on a show for the fans in Perth.”
Ennis played in the NBA Summer League in Orlando before catching the eye of both Wildcats managing director Nick Marvin and head coach Trevor Gleeson who witnessed his ability first hand at the Summer League in Las Vegas.
“We saw this guy score 25 points in the semi-final of the NBA Summer League and we thought wow, this kid can really play, but we didn’t think we’d get him to Australia, but we are now super excited to have him at the Wildcats and can’t wait for him to suit up for us because he is going to be a highlight reel,” said Gleeson.
“He’s long, he’s athletic, he’s a scorer, people in Perth are going to love watching this kid play and they will have to make the most of it because I think he will spend about seven or eight years in the NBA after he sees out the season with us.”
In the 2012/13 NCAA season, Ennis averaged 16 points shooting at an impressive 48.3 per cent from the field while playing for Long Beach State. He’s also dangerous from the three-point line, hitting 35 per cent from long range while picking up an average of 6.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 blocks per game.
James Ennis is currently in New Jersey where he has been attending the NBA Rookie Transition Program, and the club expects him to arrive in Perth next week.