Basketball: Miners imports make an immediate impact

BROTHERHOOD: US imports Davon Usher and Marvin King-Davis are enjoying their time with the Ballarat Miners and believe the team has what it takes to go all the way. Picture: Kate Healy
BROTHERHOOD: US imports Davon Usher and Marvin King-Davis are enjoying their time with the Ballarat Miners and believe the team has what it takes to go all the way. Picture: Kate Healy

Ballarat Miners imports Davon Usher and Marvin King-Davis have only been in Australia for three months, but have already made their mark on and off the court. 

Usher made his presence known immediately, top scoring with 30 points in the GMHBA Miners’ opening South East Australian Basketball League game against Geelong despite being part of a losing side. 

Since then, the shooting guard has averaged 6.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 16.5 points.

Picture: Kate Healy

Picture: Kate Healy

His Delaware University Fightin' Blue Hens teammate, King-Davis, has averaged 6.9 rebounds and 15.6 points a game for the Miners.

Some of King-Davis’ strongest games have been in front of home crowds, including wins against Bendigo (21 points and seven rebounds) and Albury Wodonga (19 points and nine rebounds).

Now, seven rounds into the season, the Miners are second in the south conference with five wins and three losses, and the imports are feeling well adjusted. 

“It was tough when we first got here,” Usher admitted.

“But the team is awesome, it just feels like a good brotherhood and we’re building.”

The pair believes this chemistry has translated to the court and will be key in the team’s success, noting the Miners’ three losses have been against teams that bond really well.

“Because everybody likes each other, you’re playing for each other,” Usher said.

“It helps on the court to feel relaxed, when you’re comfortable you play better.”

In his own game, Usher prides himself on his leadership and positive energy.

“I’m always screaming and yelling on the court, I’m just trying to bring as much excitement to the game for the fans and the kids,” he said.

King-Davis also brings that X factor quality and loves to dunk, but he has built his reputation on inside scoring and rebounds.

“I try to use my athleticism to be active on the court and be that inside presence because I’m the only big man for us right now,” the power forward said. 

While the championship is the ultimate goal for the pair, the focus first will be on making play-offs and being considered one of the top teams in the league. 

“We always want to be number one and (winning a championship) would be something good to have on the resume,” King-Davis said.

“But we are in a real good spot right now and it is early in the season so we have a lot of space to improve.”

Usher agreed.

 “We feel like overall we are doing pretty good, but we know we can do better.

“It is just staying true to the process and trying to prepare for each game as much as possible.”