Long Beach State

LBSU’s James Ennis Signs With Houston Rockets

Long Beach State men’s basketball product James Ennis agreed to a two-year, $3.4 million deal last week to join the Houston Rockets. Ennis, 28, is playing for his fourth team in four NBA seasons, and the Rockets will likely use him to replace Trevor Ariza on the wing.

“I’m a great player, and I have to show it,” Ennis told the Houston Chronicle. “I came from Long Beach State, a mid-major. I was not a first-round pick. So for a good team like that, that’s always a contender to actually want someone like me, I’m really appreciative. I’m very thankful. God works in mysterious ways and this is God working.”

Ennis (6’7” 210 pounds) graduated from Ventura High School, and attended two junior colleges before arriving at LBSU, where he played for two seasons. He averaged 10 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game as a freshman while starting all 34 games. Ennis won the Big West Conference Player of the Year as a senior after finishing top-10 in eight conference statistical categories.

After being selected by the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft, Ennis moved to Australia where he won a championship with the Perth Wildcats. He rejoined the NBA in 2014 with the Miami Heat, and then played with the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans in 2015-16 before being traded to the Detroit Pistons.

In 220 NBA games, Ennis has averaged 6.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and one assist per game. He has also shot 45% from the field, and 36% from 3-point range.

“I just feel it’s the right place for me because of how they play,” Ennis said. “I’m coming there to really help on the defensive end, because that’s the type of player I am. I give it 100 percent every time I step on the floor. I’m ready for this opportunity. I can’t wait.”

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.