Former Long Beach State standout James Ennis will take his talents to the Land down under...for this season at least as he has signed a one-year contract with the Perth Wildcats of the National Basketball League of Australia.
The team which traded for Ennis on draft day, the two-time world champions Miami Heat offered him two options: Play for the teams Developmental League affiliate Sioux Falls Skyfall or he can go overseas. Ennis chose the latter citing that he has to support his family.
"They wanted me to go the D-League," Ennis said by phone to FOX Sports Florida. "I basically put my family first. My family is struggling (financially), and I want to help support them. So that's why I'm going (to Australia)."
The Heat, however, still retain Ennis' rights and can recall him anytime, should the right situation arise, and an opt-out clause which will allow him to get his full salary should he get recalled.
“This is a team I look forward to playing for, because they’re very successful and I just want to win. I think I came to the right spot," he said. “I would like to stay the 12 months and help the Wildcats win a championship – that’s my main goal."
The prospect of Ennis' arrival in Perth has the team's faithful counting the days before the season opens in October.
When asked to describe his game, Ennis said that he is a "high-flyer, with ally-oop dunks and plays which will get the fans out of their seats."
Head coach Trevor Gleeson said that Ennis' game will fit the team's style of play perfectly.
“One of the best things (Ennis does) is running down the floor in transition, and that’s going to be our style of play – an upbeat style,” he said. "The fans will love that – they thrive on that in Perth."
"I'm very excited," Ennis said. "I don't know much about Australia, but it's going to be a really good opportunity."