By: Cole Shelton
After last season, the KW Titans knew they needed to make changes. That started with Cavell Johnson getting to coach his first full season this year and bring in players he wanted. So far, that has made a huge difference.
One player he focused on getting is Akeem Ellis who has played in the NBLC before. Having a veteran is crucial as they understand how the league works, the travel and really what to expect. For Ellis, that has benefited him greatly.
"It has helped me a lot," Ellis said. "I have really learned a lot from different players, and this league has helped me a lot. Now that I am veteran I know how to better prepare myself for games and situations."
With the Titans, Ellis has become a big part of their offence. The forward is averaging 16.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists, which has been a big help to the Titans offence. Being a major point of the teams offence is huge for Ellis.
"It feels good. Being a part of on offence means I am a big piece to the team but also am very vocal leader," he said. "If I am not scoring I can still impact the game by my energy and getting my teammates ready, just bringing positive energy."
Why he has become such a big part of the offence is simple. The forward can hit shots and shot the ball from anywhere. He can score from in the paint or stretch the floor and hit threes. Currently, he is shooting 44.3% from the field and 37.8% from three.
"That is what I focus on when I'm in the gym by myself or just getting extra work in," he said. "Just being consistent and getting my reps up with shooting, shooting off the dribble, just whatever. That is so I'm prepared for anything. It's a good way to get ready."
Not only is Ellis a big part of the offence, but the veteran also helps out on defence. Coach Johnson has preached defence since the get-go and Ellis knows to win games, defence has to be the priority.
"I just knew I was going to come in here and do my job," he said. "Whatever my role was, I knew I had to be ready and adjust to whatever it was. I'm glad that this is my role and I'm enjoying my situation.
"It definitely huge to play both ends of the court," Ellis added. "You need to be able to score but you also need to be able to play defence. That is a big part of our culture, playing defence and being dogs. We all pride ourselves on defence."
With the success the Titans are having, they look bound to make the playoffs. For Ellis come to KW and help them build a winning culture has been fantastic.
"It is great. I'm happy we are having a good season as I know last season was rough for them so I'm happy the fans are back out," Ellis said. "Just everyone is enjoying their time in KW. Everyone is excited when they come out and I'm happy to be a part of a winning culture and bring a winning culture to KW."
Ultimately, the Titans look bound for the playoffs, and once they do Ellis believes they can make some noise. Know for sure, the Titans are a tight-knit group, and that has only helped them this season.
"We gel really well," he concluded. "We all get along and this is one of the teams where everyone from 1-12 puts in the same work. This team is a big family. We are brothers and have each other back."