Perry Ellis has to play three more seasons of high school basketball before he'll ever set foot on a college floor, but Kentucky Coach John Calipari seems pretty certain the 15-year-old Kansas phenom will be worth the wait.
Calipari offered Ellis a scholarship last season when he was coaching at Memphis, and Tuesday Ellis' mother said the new UK coach made her son an offer to come to Kentucky.
"It didn't surprise me," Fonda Ellis told the Wichita (Kan.) Eagle newspaper. "It's good to know that (Calipari) still wants him."
Ellis, a 6-foot-8 power forward and center, this spring became the first freshman to be named Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year. Ellis has also received a scholarship offer from Kansas.
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His AAU coach, Steve Young, described the player in glowing terms in a story about Ellis in the May issue of Dime Magazine.
"He is like a Grant Hill or a Tim Duncan type of player — real fluid, real smooth and lots of quiet buckets," Young said. "You watch him and say, 'Man, he hasn't really done anything!' But you look at the stat sheet after the game and realize he had a quiet 25 points and 15 rebounds. For Perry, the game is almost effortless to him."
Ellis, regarded by many as the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2012, is participating in the Nike basketball camp series this summer, the Wichita paper reported. He's attending the LeBron Skills Academy in Akron, Ohio, next week. He completed the Vince Carter Skills Academy in Orlando, Fla., last week.
In the classroom, he has a 4.00 grade-point average.