Professional NBA player, James Ennis, sat down with Blast Motion for an exclusive interview. Take a look below to learn about Ennis’ journey, his views on sports and technology, his practice tips, and his advice for the next generation of players.
Blast Motion Interviews Miami Heat Small Forward, James Ennis
Question: When/how did your love of basketball take form? How old were you?
James Ennis: My love for basketball came early on when I was in middle school. At age 13 I moved to Florida, and from then on my life centered around basketball.
Q: Does anything in your life take priority over basketball?
JE: My family always comes first – we have been through a lot together – but basketball is right up there with them.
Q: Is there a current or former basketball player you look up to?
JE: Magic Johnson has always been one of my biggest inspirations. He has inspired the player I am now and the player that I continuously push myself to become. He was an incredibly selfless player, meaning he did whatever it took for the team to win – as opposed to being too focused on the spotlight. Not only has he been an inspiring man on the court, but off the court as well.
Q: Other than basketball players, is there someone you look up to or try to model your life after?
JE: I look up to my parents because they came from nothing – and still to this day don’t have a lot – but they were always there to raise and support me and my five siblings.
Q: What combination of the following does it take to be a great basketball player: physical strength, technique, physical height, practice, determination, attitude, etc.?
JE: I don’t think there is a perfect combination to be a great basketball player – and that’s the best thing about it. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, but as long as you train hard enough, have a positive attitude, and remain determined, you have the ability to do well. However, I have learned that a lot of it has to do with your mental strength.
Q: How many hours per week do you spend on the court or in the gym?
JE: That varies each week. I try to spend as much time as I can improving my game – around 40 hours or more.
Q: How do you incorporate the Blast basketball sensor into your training on and off the court?
JE: The Blast basketball sensor has really improved my training. I wear it when I’m practicing on the court because it allows me to track my progress and push myself that much harder.
Q: What is your favorite/most-used metric offered by the Blast Basketball device (i.e. hang time, acceleration, etc.)?
JE: My favorite [Blast] Basketball Replay metric is hang time. So much of my game is spent above the rim, so it’s great to see how I’m matching up every time.
Q: Has technology changed how you approach practice, improvement, or performance?
JE: Technology has changed the game. Personally, technology has really helped me with improvement. The new tools and analytics have pushed me harder because I can see where I started and how much improvement I’ve made since then – it’s really motivating.
Q: Could you see Blast Basketball Replay being valuable for your entire team or for your coach to use during practice?
JE: Definitely, I think the whole team could benefit from the Blast technology. Analytics are becoming the future of sports.
Q: The Blast Basketball Replay offers a clip of your movement with overlaid metrics, have you been able to share those clips with any of your friends, family, or fans?
JE: Yes I have. I think it’s a great way to communicate with my fans and share my training/progress over social media.
Q: You have a pretty big family, are any of your siblings interested in Basketball? Have you tried using the Blast Basketball product with them?
JE: My two younger brothers play basketball. Jammal is 21; he’s playing at Ventura College – the same school I went to. Jamar plays as well, and he is a sophomore at Ventura High School. They’ve both enjoyed using the Blast Basketball product. They think it’s easy to use and useful for hang time. They have fun comparing who hung the longest in the air.
Q: Do you have any other hobbies outside of basketball? Could you see the Blast technology being useful for any of those activities?
JE: I love staying in the weight room, so I use it there for plyometric exercises. And I used to skateboard as a kid, so after seeing some skaters use this device I’m going to have to give it a try for that sport as well.
Q: Do you have a ritual you follow to get yourself pumped up before each game?
JE: I do have a ritual, after I shoot around I usually get some good nutrition then relax mentally and physically for a little bit. Then I watch highlight videos, head to the arena, and watch film before warming up my shooting.
Q: What advice would you give to young, aspiring basketball players who would like to make it to the NBA just like you?
JE: My advice would be not to give up. Try to focus on your strengths and use those to your advantage, and then look at your weaknesses and improve upon those. Most importantly, follow your dreams and give it your all – anything can happen.