Six Division I basketball programs — including the three in Kansas — made the first cut of Heights junior Perry Ellis’ selection process Friday.
Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Memphis, Oklahoma and Wichita State are the finalists, Ellis said.
“We’ve kind of had an idea which schools it would be for a while,” said Ellis, a 6-foot-8 forward. “These were the top schools that have been there and supporting me. It has been a long process.æ.æ.æ. They were the schools that came at me the hardest.”
Fonda Ellis, Perry’s mother, said that once the coaches of the remaining schools received the news, they sent e-mails expressing how excited they were to still be in the running. One of the first to respond was Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall, who already has a future Falcon in 6-foot-5 senior Evan Wessel.
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Fonda Ellis said her son will probably announce his decision next November, after taking recruiting visits.
“They all give me opportunities to be successful,” Perry Ellis said. “I like all of the coaches. I feel blessed to get the opportunity to have the schools looking at me.”
Ellis passed on scholarship offers from Iowa, Texas A&M and Wake Forest. Georgetown, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, Stanford and UCLA had been recruiting Ellis, too.
Four of the six schools are within three hours of Ellis’ home, a consideration he has said is important.
“It just so happened that the schools I was most comfortable with were close,” Ellis said. “It would be nice to see my parents come to my games — have some support.”
Ellis and his teammates will have a chance to watch Kansas today. The Falcons will watch USC meet Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse before traveling to Kansas City, Mo., to play Nixa (Mo.) in the Hy-Vee Shootout at 7:30 Saturday.
Ellis helped lead Heights to Class 6A titles in 2009 and 2010. As a junior, Ellis is averaging 20 points and seven rebounds. He averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds as a freshman and 22 points and 10 rebounds as a sophomore.