Perry Ellis, ranked No. 37 in the ESPNU 100, will continue his much-celebrated basketball career at the University of Kansas, he announced at a Wednesday afternoon press conference at his high school gymnasium.
The Wichita Heights (Wichita, Kan.) product chose the Jayhawks over Kansas State, Wichita State and Kentucky. Ellis, a 6-foot-9 power forward, plans to sign his letter of intent during the early signing period.
"Perry felt totally comfortable with the coaches, players, campus and great winning tradition," said his mother, Fonda. "He also thinks [assistant coach] Danny Manning can help him."
A three-time Gatorade State Player of the Year honoree, Ellis has also participated in two Boost Mobile Elite 24 events. In 2009, he played in the game in New York and last month was at Venice Beach, Calif., for the 2011 edition.
Last season, Ellis joined Tony Parker of Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) and Shabazz Muhammad of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) as the only juniors named to the 20-man ESPNHS All-American first team.
Two years ago, Ellis earned ESPNHS National Sophomore of the Year honors and was just as spectacular as a junior. He shot over 72 percent from the field while averaging 22.6 points and 7.9 rebounds for a 25-0 team ranked No. 11 in the POWERADE FAB 50. With Ellis in the lineup, Heights has won 72 of 75 games and three consecutive Class 6A state titles.
He's a strong preseason candidate for the 2011-12 ESPNHS Mr. Basketball USA award given to the nation's top player. He's already considered along with Greg Dreiling of Kapaun Mt. Carmel (Wichita, Kan. '81) and former Heights standouts Aubrey Sherrod, Darnell Valentine and Antoine Carr as one of Kansas’ all-time prep greats.
Manning, his future mentor at Kansas, was runner-up to John Williams of Crenshaw (Los Angeles, Calif.) for ESPNHS Mr. Basketball USA honors in 1983-84 at Lawerence (Lawrence, Kan.). He began his prep career at Paige (Greensboro, N.C.) before moving to Kansas after his father Ed joined Larry Brown's KU staff.
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