By: Josh Paunil
Top-20 prospect Perry Ellis has accomplished many things in three years that most student athletes can’t do in four, including winning three state championships, losing only three times, and scoring over 1,500 points.
“He has been an integral part of many great championship moments,” says Wichita Heights High School head coach Joe Auer. “He is rewriting our record book at Heights.” Ellis is currently second on Wichita Heights’ all-time scoring list with 1,587 points, having already passed McDonald’s All-Americans Darnell Valentine and Antoine Carr, while only trailing another All-American in Aubrey Sherrod, who scored 1,739 points.
Ellis is also likely to graduate high school as the career leader in wins, championships, scoring, and rebounding. He has already led Wichita heights to an active 44-game win streak, breaking the Kansas 6A state winning record, and has a 96% career winning percentage. “He has a rare combination of humble and hungry, he always lets his production do all of his talking,” says Coach Auer. “He understands that every day offers the opportunity to improve.”
Not only is Ellis a great player, but he is a great leader as well. “Perry is a leader by example. He is the first one to arrive and the last one to leave every day,” says Coach Auer. “When your best player sets the best example it puts a lot of pressure on the other players to follow suit.” He is a great student too, having maintained a 4.0 GPA.
As for his recruitment, he currently lists Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Memphis, Oklahoma, and Wichita State as his favorite schools. Says Ellis, “I want to be comfortable, have a good relationship with the coach, and be in a system I like.”
“I believe he is going to be an impact player at the college level immediately,” says Coach Auer. “He can do so many things, he is the fastest player on our team, is able to beat people off the dribble, and can score from three. He is also terrific around the basket.”
According to Ellis, the two people outside of his family that have helped him the most in basketball and the recruiting process are Coach Auer and his AAU Coach Steve Young. Ellis and Coach Auer have weekly discussions about each of his top schools and helped him narrow down his list to six schools. He also scheduled unofficial visits and has taken him to games during the weekends.
Coach Young has also helped by making sure Ellis participates in the best tournaments and camps during the NCAA evaluation period throughout the summer. Coach Young, Coach Auer, Ellis, and Ellis’ parents regularly communicate with each other as well so they are all on the same page.
With one year remaining before he goes to college, he still has a lot of time to develop, but many believe he is already on track to be a great student-athlete. “He will be a tremendous representative for any university that is fortunate to sign him,” says Coach Auer, “[and] it has been a privilege and honor to coach such an outstanding young man.”
*Thanks to Fonda Ellis and Steve Cross for providing us with these pictures.
See related posts on Ellis: Ellis wins Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year 3rd straight time, Ellis interview completed, Class of 2012