The West

Perth retain Ennis for rest of season
Perth retain Ennis for rest of season

Star import and NBL poster boy James Ennis will see out the rest of the season in Australia before returning to the United States.

Ennis has lit up the league since arriving in Perth last August and is among the leading MVP candidates, ranking second in scoring with 22.9 points a game.

The athletic 23-year-old is in his first season as a professional after leaving the US college system and has created a stunning highlights reel with a string of high-flying slam-dunks.

Ennis signed a one-season deal with the Wildcats, but Miami Heat retained the rights to the second-round NBA draft pick.

The Heat had the option to recall Ennis to the NBA or development team Sioux Falls before the agreed January 31 deadline.

Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson said on Wednesday he hadn’t heard an update on the situation, but managing director Nick Marvin told today he had confirmed Ennis’ status with the player’s agent last week.

The confirmation is major boost to the Wildcats’ title hopes as they look to get out of a mini-slump.

Consecutive home defeats have left the Wildcats in their most vulnerable position of the season ahead of tomorrow’s clash with in-form rivals Melbourne at Hisense Arena.

The Wildcats are in danger of losing top spot to Adelaide for the first time since the opening rounds following narrow losses to Melbourne and Cairns at Perth Arena in the past eight days.

The 36ers (12-6) have three fewer wins than the Wildcats, but have two games in hand and will start firm favourites at home against Cairns tonight.

Complicating matters for the Wildcats is the uncertainty hanging over the immediate playing future of star centre Matt Knight.

Knight had more scans this week to determine the extent of the damage from two recent bouts of concussion, which came from accidental blows to the head on court.

The Wildcats expect to learn Knight's fate over the weekend.

The West Australian

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