Perry Lakes' Purser happy with development player role

Total Connections Perry Lakes Hawks forward Ben Purser is undeterred by the Perth Wildcats' decision not to award the final spot on their full-time roster for next season.

Purser was one of several men's State Basketball League players in contention for the 10th spot, but the Wildcats announced on Thursday that Wanneroo's Greg Hire had been given the contract.

But the 21-year-old, who has averaged 18.3 points, eight rebounds and 4.7 assists per game in the SBL this year, is still expected to be involved with the Wildcats as a development player and he said that was relishing that prospect.

"I always thought Greg and Tom Jervis were the favourites for the 10th spot, especially because Greg had such a good year with them last year as a development player," Purser said.

"I wasn't really put off by not getting the spot. I'm still a few years younger than those guys and I think Greg deserved it with the year he had in the SBL and also what he did last year with the Wildcats. So I wasn't too upset by it.

"They want me to work on my consistency with my offensive game, among other things. I think they like the way I play defence, but they just want me to do a few other things and get my body to be ready for the NBL.

"I just hope to keep working on my game and to enjoy the experience of training with one of the most successful professional outlets.

"Working with Rob Beveridge, who I think is a really good coach, should be a great. It's been really good training with them over the past few weeks."

Purser has helped Perry Lakes reach the SBL semi-finals and he'll be playing a huge role in its final four match-up against minor premiers Lakeside.

After holding Stirling star Lee Roberts to just 22 points combined in the Hawks' two-nil quarter-final series victory, the former Augusta State University player is expected to match-up against Lightning star Ben Beran, who has averaged 31.7 points per game from his last six outings.

Lakeside's two losses for the season - including defeat to Perry Lakes in May - both came when Beran was out with a back injury, which Purser said highlighted how important it is to shut the power forward down.

"It will be a really big challenge for me," he said. "Ben is a real tough competitor and he is definitely one of the most professional guys in the league in terms of the way he prepares.

"Hopefully I can make his shots tough and make him put it on the ground a little bit more. That's really all you can do against him.

"I think we match up against Lakeside pretty well, so I'm excited. But we have to stop them from playing the way they like to play and to prevent their intensity stopping us doing what we like to do."

The best-of-three series begins on Saturday at 7.30pm at the WA Basketball Centre, with games two and three (if required) at Lakeside a week later.

Article by Jacob Kagi
Photo by Darren Speedie (Vision Inspired Photography)

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