<
>

Sydney Kings recruit Perry Ellis sees path to NBA in NBL

Perry Ellis Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Terrence Ferguson and Torrey Craig's journey to the NBA this year may have helped Sydney Kings land new NBL import Perry Ellis.

Ex-US college forward Ellis has NBA ambitions despite missing a contract after four years at the University of Kansas, where he averaged 12.5 points over 144 games, and a year in the D-League. The 23-year-old had a strong NBA Summer League campaign, which came around the time former Adelaide player Ferguson got drafted by Oklahoma City and ex-Brisbane forward Craig was signed by Denver.

Ellis said the NBL was seen as a stepping stone to basketball's biggest stage.

"It just goes to show it can be done," Ellis told reporters after his first training run in Sydney. "Good basketball is being played (in Australia). My agent said it was a great thing for me and now I get the opportunity to do it and I'll just make the best of it."

Jordan MacRae and James Ennis are another two Americans who played in the NBA after NBL stints in recent years.

The 201cm Ellis joins a new-look Kings frontcourt which lacks NBL experience. Young Australian big men Isaac Humphries and Dane Pineau have arrived this off-season, as well as centre Amritpal Singh, who's set to be the first Indian player in the NBL.

Kings coach Andrew Gaze said he expected Ellis to play a variety of roles this season, rather than just the traditional power forward.

"I'm just getting used to playing with everyone, learning the plays (to) be a guy who can help win games," Ellis said. "I heard it's a great competition; good teams. You've really got to work hard and that's what I heard.

"Speed wise, I feel like I'm really fast and I'll be able to run the floor well."