NBL rostered Sam Short has recommitted to the Ballarat Miners for next season.
Short’s re-signing with his hometown team comes as the Melbourne United development player recovers from a minor knee injury.
In his second year with United and contracted for a third, Short will be returning to the newly rebranded Hotondo Homes Miners for a fourth season.
Short said it was always his desire to play on with the Miners and he was pleased to have a deal finalised early in the off-season.
Although Short has had limited opportunities with United this season – the 20-year-old has had court time in just two games – he is comfortable with his role knowing he has the security of at least year to continue developing his game.
He said he felt much more relaxed and confident at Melbourne this season.
“I’ve come out of my shell, knowing I can compete at that level.”
With little NBL court time, Short has been keeping his game sharpened by playing in a four-team summer league, which features NBL roster members and players out of the SEABL.
Having grown up playing with Exies Acmy in the Ballarat club competition, Short had his most productive time yet for the Miners this year, averaging 33 minutes 11.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.7 steals a game.
New Miners head coach Brendan Joyce said it was great to have Short back.
“Sam is doing great work with Melbourne United and we will be assisting him with his development across 2019 so he can make the jump to a rostered NBL position.
“He’ll be an important and integral player with major responsibilities in our team.”
Miners senior elite teams committee chairman Matt Sheehan said with Short being a Ballarat product and playing at the highest level with Melbourne United, he was one of the key players they had wanted to sign for next year.
As well as on-court commitments, Short will increase this role as a Basketball Ballarat ambassador, working primarily in Ballarat West at Phoenix Community P-12 College across basketball and non-basketball roles.
“Sam is a superb role model to our younger generation of boys and girls and shows a pathway can be taken to the elite levels of basketball through our programs in place,” Sheehan said.
Short said he enjoyed working with students, giving back to the community that had done so much for him.
MEANWHILE, the Miners and Ballarat Rush will be playing a new Hobart entity.
Hobart Huskies fill a vacancy in a new Victorian-managed senior elite league after the withdrawal of the Hobart Charges.