Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Colleges Chasing 8th Grader!

Think asking an eighth grader about his college plans is strange? So does Perry Ellis.

As one of the nation's top eighth-grade basketball players, Ellis has yet to attend a single day of high school but is already being asked to address a college career that won't get underway for more than four years.

"(Getting recruiting calls is) weird. I like it, but I don't know. It does seem strange at times. I'm just getting ready to start high school."

But being labeled as "weird" hasn't stopped the coaches from calling. Ellis says he has already been contacted by Kansas, K-State, Wichita State and Memphis. So, which school is leading the pack in this head-scratching quest for the rights to a player four years removed from his first college class?

"Right now it seems like KU is talking to me the most, but I don't know if that's what I want or not."

For now, however, Ellis is nothing more than a high-profile member of Spiece MoKan's Wichita team, which advanced to the semifinals of in the 16-and-under division of the Manhattan Classic, thanks in part to Ellis. Playing against opponents two years his senior, however, made Kansas' most famous eighth grader look far from dominant on Sunday, as he managed just nine points in a 74-49 semifinal loss to Spiece MoKan's KC team. Sure there is certainly some work to be done on Ellis' game, but the 6-foot-6 14–year old has more than a little time to improve.

"He's playing against sophomores that are going to be juniors, so there are times that he looks overwhelmed," said Spiece MoKan basketball director Matt Suther. "He's going to continue to get better with his skill set and with his size. This stuff all just takes time."

Perry Ellis will be one of many top Class 2012 players at the Jr. All American Camp.