Long Beach State’s Ennis sprinting his way toward NBA career

In another life, Long Beach State’s James Ennis, who’s done his best in the two months since his final college season ended to boost his¬†NBA Draft¬†stock into the first round, might have become an Olympic track star.

Long Beach coach Dan Monson and his assistant Rod Palmer remember a recruiting visit when they received a convincing demonstration of Ennis’ athletic ability. It was after one of Ennis’ practices at Ventura College, and the team convened to the school’s track for some conditioning work. The task: a series of 200-meter sprints.

“James just blew every single one of his teammates away,” Palmer said. “Just humiliated and ran past them. And that was after practice. That’s when we knew we had something special.”

Monson was so impressed he felt compelled to see how fast Ennis was running.

“I probably exaggerate more than Rod,” Monson said, laughing. “But there’s no exaggeration here. After about the third [200], where James was probably 15, 20 yards ahead of the other guys, I started timing him. I said to Rod, this kid’s running these things in 21, 22 seconds. One after the other.”

At the time, Ennis was also dabbling in the high jump. He’d cleared 6-foot-5 in high school but thought he could do better, so he consulted YouTube for education and inspiration.

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Source: Chris Dortch, NBA.com