RICE LAKE, Wis. (WEAU) - Three years ago Rice Lake native Henry Ellenson was preparing for his freshman season at Marquette University. Now instead of heading into his senior year in the Big East conference, he’s gearing up for his third season in the NBA.
“I feel just having the basketball 24/7, focusing on weight lifting all week and putting the extra work in on the court I feel like it’s just really sprung me ahead," said Henry Ellenson. "I feel like my first two years in the league I’ve learned a lot, grown a lot, and I’m ready for Year 3 to go.”
The Pistons forward has come a long way since entering the 2016 NBA draft and now with a new head coach in Detroit, Ellenson is hoping to crack the rotation next season for Dwane Casey.
“I’ve only heard great things about him and I can’t wait to play for him. I don’t know what quite to expect, but I’m ready to go Day 1,” Ellenson proclaimed.
After the Pistons faded out of the playoff picture towards the end of March we finally got to see Henry on the floor averaging about 18 minutes and 10 points over the final 8 games of the regular season. A larger role in the Motor City that he hopes will come playing behind 5-time NBA all-star Blake Griffin.
“They have a good idea of my skill set. So, if it’s coming off the bench being a 5 spacing out the floor like the league is today I’m ready to do it or as a 4 man I’m just ready to go," added Ellenson. "It’s crazy to say that I’m already going on Year 3 just because I would be a senior in college right now, but I’m ready for it and I’m excited to compete in camp with our new coach and pretty much new organization.”
Henry Ellenson may have been one and done at Marquette, but coming from a family of educators he says he’ll be back in the classroom after his NBA days are over to finish college and earn his degree.
“You know with my parents being teachers, my brother Ellwood just got a job in the Cumberland school district being an English middle school teacher, grandpa was a teacher in Eau Claire for the longest time, so coming from a family of educators I do one day want to go finish my degree," Ellenson explained. "I know it’s going to be tough just because I do have a long way to go. I left after my first year, but it is something I want to do down the line.”
In the meantime though, Ellenson plans to workout with Blake Griffin this summer and hopefully find more of an identity within the Pistons lineup next season.