The Sydney Kings’ roster has received a significant boost, with the signing of former Kansas Jayhawk, Perry Ellis.
While it is expected Ellis will suit up for the Kings, he will spend his off-season in America, as he continues to work towards an NBA contract. Out clauses like this are regular in NBL import deals.
It marks Sydney’s first import signing for the 2017/18 campaign. The Kings have also added Todd Blanchfield and Dane Pineau, while Jason Cadee, Kevin Lisch, Tom Garlepp and Brad Newley are still under contract.
“I have followed Perry’s career for a number of years and always enjoy watching Kansas play,” Kings’ coach, Andrew Gaze, said in a statement.
“As far back as this time last year, Jeff [Van Groningen] and I spoke about how beneficial it would be if a guy ‘like’ Perry Ellis could join our team – so it’s fair to say we are thrilled that we have the man himself signing with us.
“His pedigree, versatility and basketball IQ will be key attributes that will assist us in strongly moving this program forward.”
Sydney Managing Director, Van Groningen, also spoke highly of the acquisition.
“Perry Ellis is a rare combination of very high character and very high performance wrapped into one guy,” he said.
“We know that Perry has aspirations to make the NBA and we know he is an elite talent. We support his quest in that regard and he will support ours as we try to reach the upper reaches of our own league.
“We couldn’t be happier that Perry has signed with the Sydney Kings.”
Ellis spent four seasons at the Jayhawks, piecing together an impressive body of work. The 23-year-old was a consensus Second Team All-American in 2016, along with making the Big 12 First Team twice (2015, 2016), earning the Big 12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year twice (2015, 2016) and being name a McDonald’s High School All-American in 2012.
The 6’7” forward averaged 16.9 points and 5.8 rebounds during his senior year at Kansas, as he helped his side finish with a 33-5 record. Over the span of his four-year tenure in college, Ellis amassed 12.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
Playing with Greensboro Swarm in the NBA D-League last season, his first one as a professional, Ellis posted 9.8 points and 4.7 rebounds. He also has NBA Summer League experience with the Dallas Mavericks.