|No. 33 – Super City Rangers|
January 27, 1991 |
|Nationality||American / Guamanian|
|Listed height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Listed weight||223 lb (101 kg)|
|High school||Panther Creek (Cary, North Carolina)|
|NBA draft||2014 / Undrafted|
|2016–2017||Team FOG Næstved|
|2017–present||Super City Rangers|
Earnest Lee Ross Jr. (born January 27, 1991) is an American-Guamanian professional basketball player for the Super City Rangers of the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL). He played college basketball for Auburn University and the University of Missouri.
- 1 Early life
- 2 High school career
- 3 College career
- 4 Professional career
- 5 Personal
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Ross was born in the Pacific Islands county of Guam to Earnest Sr. and Toy Sue Miller Ross, both of whom were United States Navy workers at the time. Ross moved around a lot as a child, living in Guam, Hawaii and Japan before his parents split up in 1996 when Ross was five. Toy subsequently left the military after 15 years because she was working 12-hour shifts and could not spend enough time with her children. Ross then moved to Washington state with his mother and his younger brother, Jamel. His mother struggled to find work, sending her children during the summers to live in Texas and Maryland with their father, who was still traveling from base to base in the military and made enough money to support them.
When Ross was eight, he moved to Chicago where the family of three first moved in with Toy's sister for a year and a half, before Toy and her sons finally got their own apartment. It was a struggle for Toy, however, as she was required to maintain multiple jobs to provide for herself and her sons. To make matters worse, they lived in a rough neighborhood and were eventually evicted from their apartment and had to move in with Toy's mother.
Ross and his family eventually settled down in Chicago and he and his brother attended a local school on the south side of the city. Ross always took care of his brother no matter what, and felt he had to be a role model for him. In addition to walking with him to school and cooking at just nine-years-old, Ross would force his brother to pray every morning and night. He would reassure him that their current situation was only temporary, and in order for them to get out, they had to ask God for help.
When Ross was 12, he and his brother moved from Chicago to Washington, D.C. to live with their father when their mother was unable to support them. She went to court and made an agreement with her ex-husband that the children would be returned after a year and a half, enough time to get back on her feet. She lived and worked by herself in Chicago and then moved to North Carolina where her two sons would soon join her and attend high school.
High school career
Ross attended Panther Creek High School in Cary, North Carolina where he played for coach L. J. Hepp. As a junior in 2007–08, he earned All-State Class 4A honors after averaging 26 points, eight rebounds and five assists per game.
As a senior at Panther Creek in 2008–09, Ross earned All-State Class 4A honors for the second straight year and was named the Tri-Eight Conference Player of the Year after averaging 21 points, six rebounds and five assists. He was also the leading scorer in the North Carolina vs. South Carolina All-Star Game with 16 points and had a team-high 10 rebounds.
As a freshman at Auburn in 2009–10, Ross averaged 2.8 points and 3.0 rebounds in 13.4 minutes per game. He shot 28 percent from the field, 22 percent from three-point range and 64 percent from the foul line. He also started eight of 32 games, including the first seven games of the season in place of injured Tay Waller, becoming the first Auburn freshman to start a season opener since Quantez Robertson, Josh Dollard and Joey Cameron started the 2005–06 season opener.
As a sophomore in 2010–11, Ross was the SEC's most-improved scorer, elevating his point production from 2.8 points per game as a freshman to 13.1 points as a sophomore. He finished the year leading Auburn in rebounding 14 times, including a career-high 13 boards against Alabama on January 22, 2011. He was subsequently named Auburn's Most Valuable Player for the 2010–11 season. In 31 games (27 starts), he also averaged 6.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals in 31.8 minutes per game.
On May 25, 2011, it was announced that Ross was leaving Auburn in pursuit of playing college basketball elsewhere. On June 21, 2011, he signed a grant-in-aid agreement with the University of Missouri and subsequently redshirted the 2011–12 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.
As a redshirted junior at Missouri in 2012–13, Ross was the top scorer in the Southeastern Conference off the bench, averaging 11.0 points on 44 percent shooting from the floor and 41.7 percent shooting from three-point range in 24 contests off the pine. Overall, he finished the year averaging 10.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
As a senior in 2013–14, Ross ranked third on the team in minutes per game (31.9) and was second with 57 three-point makes. He also ranked second in rebounding and was the team leader with 46 total steals. In 35 games (all starts), he averaged 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
Perth Wildcats (2014–2015)
On September 10, 2014, Ross signed a three-year deal with the Perth Wildcats of the Australian National Basketball League. After going scoreless in the Wildcats' first two games of the 2014–15 season, Ross recorded his first career points in the Wildcats' 84–63 win over the Sydney Kings on October 24. He finished the game with 7 points on 1-of-5 shooting and 5-of-5 free throws. A week later, he played his best game of the season, recording 13 points, 7 rebounds and 1 assist in the Wildcats' 83–64 win over the Wollongong Hawks. His second-best game of the season came on December 18 against the Kings, recording 10 points and 8 rebounds in a 78–74 loss.
On January 9, 2015, after less than 30 seconds on the court, Ross suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury late in the first quarter of the Wildcats' 91–76 loss to the Cairns Taipans. In 18 games for the Wildcats, he averaged 3.3 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.
On May 14, 2015, the Wildcats released Ross after deciding to not register a contract for him for 2015–16.
On October 31, 2015, Ross was selected by the Santa Cruz Warriors in the fourth round of the 2015 NBA Development League Draft. He joined the team four days later for the start of training camp. However, he was waived on November 10, prior to the start of the regular season.
Ballarat Miners (2016)
On December 15, 2015, Ross signed with the Ballarat Miners for the 2016 SEABL season. He made his debut for the Miners in the team's season opener on April 1, recording 14 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals in 28½ minutes of action as a starter in a 93–68 loss to the Bendigo Braves. In the team's second game of the season on April 8, Ross recorded game highs of 27 points and 6 steals in a 97–79 win over the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence. The next day, he recorded game highs again, this time with 33 points and 12 rebounds in a 105–100 win over the Canberra Gunners. On April 23, he scored a game-high 31 points in a 95–92 loss to the NW Tasmania Thunder. On May 14, he recorded 26 points (9/15 FG, 6/10 3PT), 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals in 94–92 win over the Dandenong Rangers. He subsequently earned SEABL Player of the Week honors for Round 7. On May 29, he recorded his first career triple-double with 19 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in a 99–76 win over the Frankston Blues. He subsequently earned Player of the Week honors for Round 9. After appearing in the Miners' first 16 games of the season, he missed both of the team's Round 14 games due to suspension. In his return game on July 16, he recorded his second triple-double of the season with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists in a 112–101 loss to the Brisbane Spartans. The Miners missed a playoff berth in 2016 with an 11–13 record. In 22 games for the Miners, Ross averaged 19.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.1 steals per game.
Team FOG Næstved (2016–2017)
On November 21, 2016, Ross signed with Team FOG Næstved of the Danish Basketligaen for the rest of the 2016–17 season. In his second game for Næstved on December 1, Ross recorded 16 points and 13 rebounds in a 78–76 loss to the Bakken Bears. On December 18, 2016, he scored a season-high 28 points in a 117–82 win over SISU BK. Næstved finished the regular season in fourth place with a 13–15 record and went on to lose to Svendborg Rabbits in the Quarter Finals in a clean 3–0 sweep. In 23 games for Næstved, Ross averaged 14.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
Super City Rangers (2017–present)
Following his final game with Næstved on March 27, 2017, Ross left Denmark and travelled to New Zealand, landing in Auckland on March 31 to join the Super City Rangers for the rest of the 2017 New Zealand NBL season. He made his debut for the Rangers on April 8, 2017, scoring 16 points off the bench in a 100–73 loss to the Southland Sharks. Seven days later, he recorded game highs of 32 points and 10 rebounds in a 99–87 win over the Nelson Giants.
Ross is very close to his mother and brother. He is also close with his aunts, uncles and cousins. In contrast, he acknowledges that he still loves and cares for his father but he doesn't have the close bond with him that he shares with his mother. Still active in the military as of 2012, Earnest Sr. remarried twice after divorcing Toy, and has two more children. Ross states that when he has kids, he'll always be there for them and always be around.
Ross has many tattoos that form an underlying framework of his life story. Some remind him of the struggles he and his brother went through, while some remind him of what he values most. The words Toy Miller are separately tattooed on his wrists, something that serves as a constant reminder of the one person in his world he owes everything to.
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