Arguably the most accomplished high school player in his class, Wichita Heights (Wichita, Kan.)
star Perry Ellis
announced Wednesday he will stay close to home and play for the Kansas Jayhawks.
"I just felt comfortable at KU," Ellis said of the decision during a press conference held in Wichita Heights' gymnasium.
The 6-foot-8, 225-pound power forward is a four-star prospect ranked No. 26 in the MaxPreps Class of 2012 Top 100. Ellis picked Kansas over Kansas State, Kentucky and Wichita State. He is KU's second 2012 verbal commitment, joining 6-9 Texas post man Zach Peters
of Prestonwood Christian (Plano)
"All these schools were real close to me. They have been there for three or four years now," Ellis said. "I love being around my family. I just felt real comfortable at KU. It's right here."
Ellis is in the midst of a historic run at Wichita Heights. The Falcons have captured three-straight state titles and will enter the 2011-12 campaign riding a 44-game winning streak. Since Ellis entered the program as a freshman in 2008-09, Heights is 72-3 and he has earned Gatorade Player of the Year honors in Kansas each season.
The Falcons went 25-0 a year ago and finished No. 11 in MaxPreps.com's Xcellent 25 national rankings. Ellis averaged 22.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game while allowing teammates like Evan Wessel and Terrence Moore to also carve out significant roles. Younger brother Brae also saw some action as a freshman in 2010-11.
Ellis burst on the scene at Heights as a freshman, averaging 19.2 points and 11.7 rebounds per game that winter. Already near 6-8, his advanced physique, impressive stats and team success put the spotlight on him at an early age.
While Kansas was regarded as the favorite by some insiders, Ellis kept his circle tight and left everybody guessing until the announcement Wednesday afternoon.