American import James Ennis has promised to “put on a show” for Perth Wildcats fans after signing a one-year deal with the NBL club.
Ennis, 23, was a second-round NBA Draft pick in June, taken with pick no.50 by the Atlanta Hawks before being traded to the Miami Heat.
He will play for the Wildcats in the 2013-14 NBL season but remain property of the Heat, where he is likely to return next season.
The 200cm, 90kg swingman impressed new Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson with his athleticism and said he would look to entertain local fans at Perth Arena.
“I can’t wait to get over to Australia and join my new teammates,” Ennis said.
“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 Gleeson’s eye 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,” Gleeson said.
“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.
“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.”
Ennis averaged 16 points at 48.3 per cent from the field while playing for Long Beach State in the 2012-13 NCAA season.
He shot at 35 per cent from long range and average of 6.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 blocks per game.
Ennis is currently attending the NBA Rookie Transition Program in New Jersey. The Wildcats expect him to arrive in Perth next week.