By Kasey Cornwell
Earnest Ross joins the Ballarat Miners this 2016 season as an unrestricted player and a phenomenal addition to the lineup. Ross is a strong, tall (196cm) athletic utility.
Ross can play almost anywhere on the court, and is wiling to play wherever the team needs him at that time. He sees himself playing a lot of 1 – 3, unless of course there is a match up issue and he will be flexible to assist the team’s match-ups.
When Earnest had the opportunity to come to Australia again it was a no turn down situation, for him. He labeled Coach Hayes and the mild weather a determining factor.
Earnest’s NBL season ended prematurely last year with an Achilles injury, the rehabilitation has been going well although since arriving back in Australia has been the first time back on the court, Earnest feels like he is getting himself back in to game condition and getting his fitness back to the level he needs to be at.
Ross’ NBA experience was vast and he trained with Washington Wizards. Houston Rockets and the Minnesota Timberwolves, he explained being around basketballers at such a high level, taught him to always work on his game, and he was always looking for the next step in his performance. This is the mentality he wants to bring to the Miners, although Ross was very impressed with the high work ethic already amongst the guys, so he will just keep leading by example, on and off the court.
Ross has moved around a lot over the years, being born in Guam and living in Japan, Hawaii and Chicago. This has helped Earnest with his ability to adjust to many different situations quickly, something that helped him make this transition to Ballarat. His ability to move around as a child with his family, has helped him move around for his basketball.
Earnest will be taking full responsibility for his game, living by his motto “players got to play”, he said that his strong work ethic definitely took time, and this is something that he learnt at College, and while he had a lot of fun in his college career, he knows now its time to use his work ethic to do bigger and better things.
Earnest played college basketball at Auburn and Missouri. Earnest advised that moving colleges to Missouri was almost a no-brainer, Auburn was national champions in football when he was there, and Earnest wanted the same supporter base for the basketball team and he definitely got that at Missouri. An incredibly consistent college player, in his last season he averaged 14 points and 31 minutes a game.
Earnest looks like a leader on the court, whether this is through communication with his team mates or being effective on the floor, he explained himself as a “a leader, a player, I just like to win, I’m competitive”, It is important to Earnest to bring the team along with him, whether its helping team mates or encouraging them with his persistence to win. This is something that Earnest Ross wants to bring to Ballarat.
Communication is the biggest thing Earnest thinks he and the team need to continue to do, both in offence and defence and it will be a key element in the Miners success this season. Ross is excited that the team has a mix of players who are willing to talk and who are willing to listen, and this he believes will be a great mix to enhance the teams communication this season.
All of the team have good relationships off the court, so it makes the time on the court a lot more special and more appreciative of everyone’s commitment to game and ability to connect with each other.
Earnest just can’t wait for the season to start and for the team’s games to count.
Catch Earnest Ross and the Miners in action against Bendigo season opener Friday 1 April at 8:00pm at the Mars Minerdome.