Perth Wildcats import James Ennis has denied throwing his All-NBL first team trophy into the water after the league’s awards ceremony at Melbourne’s Docklands last night.
Ennis has taken the NBL by storm since arriving in August and is widely regarded as one of the league’s best players.
But he missed out on the Most Valuable Player award last night, finishing third behind winner Rotnei Clarke (Wollongong) and Chris Goulding (Melbourne).
Reports claim Ennis was furious about missing out on the top gong and later threw his trophy into the water in disgust.
But the 23-year-old American rejected the story on arrival in Perth this morning.
“My trophy’s in my bag,” Ennis said. “I threw a water bottle in the water that I was drinking. I have the trophy in my bag and I’m going to give it to my mum when I get home.”
Ennis declined to produce the trophy when asked by a television reporter.
Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson said he was unaware of the alleged incident.
“We stayed there for a little bit longer and we all went back together at the hotel, so I’m not sure where that’s coming from,” Gleeson said.
The story is an unwanted distraction for the Wildcats, who will today resume preparations for their best-of-three grand final series against the Adelaide 36ers.
Media reports claim one NBL club chairman and another guest of the league at the awards ceremony witnessed the alleged incident.