The NBL1 Cobra Men are set to return some elite versatility to the perimeter, re-signing Kilsyth junior Ben Ursich for the 2020 season.
Ursich returns to his home club for a fourth season, having established himself as one of the top young ‘3-and-D’ players in the league. While his numbers were down from his 2018 campaign, Ursich’s versatility on both ends of the floor played a key role in helping the Cobras secure a top-four regular season finish and Semi Final berth in 2019.
With the Cobras building a new-look roster for the 2020 season, Ursich is excited for the year ahead at Kilsyth, and believes the new group and coaching staff will take little time to gel on the court.
“It’s great to be on board for another year,” Ursich said.
“I think the group that has been put together has a high IQ and will build chemistry quickly. I’m excited to see what we can achieve.”
Cobras head coach Pete Godfrey targeted Ursich as a priority during the offseason, with the pair enjoying prior success together at Kilsyth in 2014-15. Ursich helped lead the Godfrey-coached VYC Cobra Men to a grand final appearance in 2014 and championship in 2015, with Godfrey recalling that many of Ursich’s standout attributes – versatility, hounding defence and coachability – were present five years ago.
“Ben was the first ‘player call’ I made after being appointed to coach the Cobras,” Godfrey said.
“He was a major part of the 2014 and 2015 VYC Kilsyth groups that I coached and he already had loads of talent back then. ‘Versatile’, ‘athletic’, ‘coachable’, and ‘lock-down defender’ are the things that spring to mind when I think about Ben.”
Ursich was in the mix for a development player position with the South East Melbourne Phoenix late last year, impressing with the NBL’s new franchise – highlighted by a 13 point performance against Cairns on Hugh McMenamin Court – during their preseason campaign. With last year’s valuable experience with the Phoenix under his belt, Godfrey believes Ursich is primed for a big 2020 season with the Cobras, and perhaps a full-time opportunity in the NBL.
“Ben has been knocking on the door of NBL development player spots over the past couple of seasons,” Godfrey added.
“All the work is ahead of him of course, but the 2020 NBL1 Cobra roster is being built for Ben to have a breakout year — with a view of maybe, just maybe, kicking the NBL door in.”
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