THE Joondalup Wolves will be looking for a proven campaigner rather than a college prospect to replace ousted US import Richard Ross in the State Basketball League.
There was great excitement around Ross’s signing at the beginning of the season given his background as a dynamic NCAA Division I forward, whose athleticism had also landed him football trials with the NFL.
But in six games for the Wolves, the Texan did not provide the expected X factor and was cut from the roster this week.
Chief executive Cameron Britt explained the Wolves’ decision to find a new marquee signing came as part of a broader roster review conducted over the past two weeks.
“We assessed a couple of performances in a row and came to the determination that we would be looking to deactivate Richard and try and secure a different athlete that we think can help us reach our ultimate championship objective,” he said.
Britt said Ross was disappointed but reacted admirably.
“I have a lot of respect for the guy… because he took it well and understood that it’s business and it wasn’t personal,” he said.
“I think there’s still a lot of respect between him and the club.”
Britt said Joondalup was considering Australian and international options as Ross’s replacement.
But the player would need to have more than just college experience.
“We’ll be looking at a seasoned professional or two – someone who’s been around a few pro leagues and can immediately come in and give us that impact,” he said.
The second-placed Wolves face cross-district rivals Stirling at Warwick Stadium tomorrow night after defeating Mandurah Magic 95-81 in Joondalup last Saturday.
In the women’s league, the Wolves find themselves in unfamiliar losing territory after three straight defeats.
They fell to seventh after league leaders Mandurah thrashed them 99-58.
It will take a season-best performance for them to defeat third-placed Stirling.