Varsity Basketball

Heights' Perry Ellis named Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year

Heights' Perry Ellis gets a hug from coach Joe Auer after the Falcons defeated BV Northwest 67-60 in the Class 6A championship game at the state basketball tournament at Koch Arena in Wichita, Kan., Saturday. (March 10, 2012)
Heights' Perry Ellis gets a hug from coach Joe Auer after the Falcons defeated BV Northwest 67-60 in the Class 6A championship game at the state basketball tournament at Koch Arena in Wichita, Kan., Saturday. (March 10, 2012) The Wichita Eagle

Heights senior Perry Ellis was named the Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year for the fourth time.

Ellis, also a four-time All-Metro and four-time All-State selection by The Wichita Eagle and VarsityKansas.com, led Heights to four straight Class 6A basketball titles.

Below is the release from Gatorade.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Ellis as Kansas' best high school boys basketball player.  Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced in March, Ellis joins an elite alumni association of past state boys basketball award winners, including Dwight Howard (2003-04, SW Atlanta Christian Academy, Ga.), Chauncey Billups (1993-94 & 1994-95, George Washington HS, Colo.), Jason Kidd (1991-92, St. Joseph Notre Dame HS, Calif.), Paul Pierce (1994-95, Inglewood HS, Calif.) and Chris Bosh (2001-02, Lincoln HS, Texas).

The state's three-time returning Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Ellis led the Falcons to a 23-2 record and a fourth consecutive Class 6A state championship this past season. The 6-foot-8, 225-pound senior power forward amassed 29 points and seven rebounds in a 67-60, title-clinching victory against Blue Valley Northwest High. The McDonald's All-American averaged 25.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals per game. Also a three-time returning Class 6A First Team All-State selection as named by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, he shot 67.0 percent from the field, 43.4 percent from 3-point range and 78.3 percent from the free throw line. Ellis is the first boys basketball player in the nation to win Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year honors four times in the award program's 27-year history.

Ellis has maintained a 4.00 GPA in the classroom, ranks No. 1 in his graduating class and serves as secretary of his school's National Honor Society chapter. In addition to donating his time as a youth basketball instructor, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the Wichita Children's Home, with the Real Men, Real Heroes' Teen Hero program, as part of multiple youth literacy-outreach initiatives and as a motivational speaker to youth athletes, addressing the importance of education.

"He has continued to achieve excellence as a player with outstanding character," said Ron Allen, head coach at East High. "I can't think of anyone that has done as much for his team and himself than Perry."

Ellis has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Kansas this fall.

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