THE GMHBA Ballarat Miners will be welcoming back former Miner and Basketball Ballarat junior Ash Constable for the 2016 South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL) season. Constable has spent the last two years with the Cairns Taipans in the National Basketball League (NBL) as a development player and is set to return the Minerdome to assist him in taking his game to the next level. Constable last played for the Miners in 2014 before having training with both Melbourne Untied and Cairns before eventually being signed as a development player for the 2014/15 NBL season. Constable stayed in Cairns last NBL off season suiting up for the Cairns Marlins in the Queensland Basketball League (QBL). In 14 appearances Constable averaged 13.55 minutes per game and shot at 42.9% from 2pt range and 31.3% from beyond the 3pt line. Constable is very excited to return to Ballarat saying “I have always wanted to play under Eric, I like how he goes about his business”. Constable continued “I love where the club is heading with their professionalism and I believe that Ballarat is the right fit for my future”. Miners Head Coach Eric Hayes is thrilled to get his first local signing for 2016 behind anticipated rookies Tristan Fisher and Sam Short who have progressed through the junior and youth league program. “It is great to get Ash back, he will be bringing with him two years’ worth of NBL training standards which I think will rub off on all players in the program”. Miners Elite Teams Chair Nick Grylewicz is pleased that Constable is returning to the program where it all started for him. “To have Ash want to come back and feel we are the program to take him to the next level is a testament to Eric and the program that Ballarat offers.”
Constable has received limited minutes in his two seasons with the Taipans and has worked on getting his body in peak condition to allow him to play professionally when the time arises. “I have been working very closely with the coaches over the past two seasons whilst in Cairns trying to improve my game every day.” Constable continued “I believe I’ve taken my game to another level but definitely still have a lot to work on”. Constable is confident in what he will bring to the Miners “I’ll definitely bring a lot of energy and positivity to the group. I will be looking to knock down open threes and be aggressive on defence.” Constable finished with “I can’t wait to get back and play in front of family, friends and a home crowd.” Elite Teams Administrator Melissa Thomas expects Constable to be back in Ballarat anytime between Mid-February and March “Cairns play their final game of the season on February 11, and although they are sitting sixth on the ladder, the competition they can still make the play offs”. Thomas add, “We expect Ash to finish all commitments with Cairns for their current season before he returns to Ballarat”.