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Kings sign Australian forward Cody Ellis in big coup
Saturday, July 13, 2013, 09:00:00 AM

Sydney Kings - Matt McQuade

The Sydney Kings have engineered a stunning coup with the recruitment of Australian forward and Emerging Boomer Cody Ellis to the team for the next two National Basketball League seasons.

Ellis, a versatile 203cm (6’8”) big man, is the son of Perth Wildcats legend and former captain Mike Ellis and was heavily pursued by the Wildcats before deciding to come to Sydney and wear the famous purple and gold.

A product of the Australian Institute of Sport and member of the Under 19 Australian Emus team that finished fourth in the 2009 FIBA World Under 19 Championships, the 23 year old Ellis has spent the past four years at NCAA Division One school St Louis University, and in his final season – a campaign overshadowed by the death of the team’s head coach Rick Majerus last December – he was the second leading scorer for the Bilikens, averaging 10.1 points off the bench. That effort garnered the talented power forward the Atlantic 10 Conference Sixth Man of the Year award.

Over his impressive career at St Louis – the same school attended by former NBL MVP Kevin Lisch – he averaged 9.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game and was a model of consistency throughout, averaging double figure points in three of his four years.

Ellis has earned a reputation as a tough defender in the low post with the ability to score inside and out, and he will provide the Kings with a potent frontcourt alongside star big man AJ Ogilvy when he arrives in Sydney in mid-December after completing his studies at St Louis.

Cody is currently playing a key role in the Australian Boomers team that won the recent Stankovic Cup in Europe and is contesting the World University Games in Kazan, Russia. The team has lost only once all tour and on Friday shocked the United States with a 93-84 victory – a US group featuring several talented players from NCAA Division One schools.

Sydney Kings Head Coach Shane Heal is thrilled to add a player of Cody’ immense potential to the Kings’ squad.

“Cody is a fantastic pick up for the Sydney Kings,” Coach Heal said.

“Whilst it’s crucial to have an eye on the present, I also believe we need to invest in the future. Cody, whose father Mike was a champion in our sport, will become a very good NBL player and I look forward to help develop his skills so he can play a valuable role in our future success. He is a smart and talented four man who can shoot the ball and he reminds me of a Tony Ronaldson type player.”

“It's not perfect for him to come in to the group in mid-December, but we hope to ease him in and believe he can contribute in the second half of the year. There is no doubt his best basketball will be in the second year after a great preseason. I certainly don't want to put a ceiling on how much he could help us in year one, but I don't want him to play with pressure considering the circumstances for what will be his rookie year.”

Coach Heal also spoke about the final makeup of his 2013/2014 line-up.

“We will carry 11 contracted players and this will create competition but also give us depth to cover injuries,” he said.

“To lose a veteran like Ian Crosswhite is always a blow, but to replace him with not one but two quality players, both with their best years in front of them, has turned a negative into a massive positive for our club.”

For his part, Cody Ellis talked about how excited he was to join the Sydney Kings.

“I decided to join the Kings because I really feel that I can help this team be successful,” he said from Kazan in Russia.

“I have spoken to Shane and with the young group he is putting together I believe that we could certainly make a good run at the title over the next couple years.”

“It was definitely a tough decision for me to choose the Kings over the Wildcats, because the Ellis name is pretty big in Perth basketball, but I felt that at the moment Sydney is a better fit for me and they definitely showed a little more interest.”

“My main goal in basketball is to help a team to a championship, no matter my role. I’m extremely excited to be a part of the Kings organization and I look forward to playing.”

The addition of Cody Ellis completes the Sydney Kings roster, which currently stands at 12 contracted players. The roster is Ben Madgen, AJ Ogilvy, Jesse Sanders, James Harvey, Charles Carmouche, Brad Hill, Tom Garlepp, Kevin White, Ben Allen, Shaun Gleeson, Cody Ellis and Kyle Armour.

Cody will arrive in Sydney in mid-December after completing his degree at St Louis.

The entire Sydney Kings organisation looks forward to the day Cody pulls on the purple and gold!

Sydney Kings. My City. My Team.

Position:  Power Forward
Height:  203cm (6’8”)
Weight:  111kg (245lb)
Birthplace:  Perth, Western Australia
Birthday: 24 April, 1990

College:  St Louis University (2009-2013)

2009/10 (Freshman):   10.5ppg, 4.9rpg
2010/11 (Sophomore):   6.5ppg, 3.7rpg
2011/12 (Junior):   10.1ppg, 3.4rpg, 78.1% FT
2012/13 (Senior):  10.1ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.1spg, 82.9% FT
CAREER:    9.5rpg, 3.8rpg, 77.2% FT

Australian representative, FIBA Under-19 World Championships, 2009
Australian representative, World University Games, 2013
Atlantic 10 Conference Sixth Man of the Year, 2012/2013
Atlantic 10 Conference All Rookie Team, 2009/2010