Strong Wildcats family ties in Stirling Senators
THERE is a definite Wildcats flavour in the Stirling Senators men’s team this season.
The team is coached by former Perth Wildcat captain and coach Mike Ellis and has Ellis’s son Cody, Calvin Bruton’s son Austin and Bob Witts’ son Tom.
The Senators are currently fourth on the State Basketball League ladder.
Ellis, who is on the Illawarra Hawks’ roster and returned to the Senators for a third season, said he had grown up with the club and enjoyed playing alongside his mates.
“I’ve been involved in the sport of basketball my entire life,” he said.
“My family has been part of the club since it began, so I grew into it. I started playing with Stirling in the U12s.
“I love the competitive side of any sport, not just basketball, but my favourite part about it is the camaraderie.
“I have mates all around the world because of the game.”
For Bruton, basketball is second nature, with his brothers Elliott, Calvin Junior (CJ), mum and dad all playing.
He is now in his fifth season with the Senators and said he had played the game for as long as he could remember.
“I’ve been around basketball since I was born, but have been playing for a team since the age of seven,” Bruton said.
“I have a huge love for the game and the many friendships I’ve made along the way. My dad has been an inspiration to me and my older brothers and while I have had aspirations to play at a higher level, I'm a bit old for that.”
As for Ellis, who is Australian basketball royalty, when asked what it was like to play for his Wildcats legend dad he said it was a great to work together.
“They (my parents) were very supporting in whatever I wanted to do,” he said.
“I think I put all of the pressure on myself instead and there was more pressure when I was coached by him at a younger age.”
Austin Bruton, Tom Witts and Cody Ellis.