Alvin Ellis has always had great athleticism, but this spring and summer he combined that athleticism with a refined perimeter game and ability to attack his man off the dribble. Illinois was prominent at his games throughout the summer. Ellis definitely noticed how Illini assistant Jerrance Howard was sitting front and center.
"It is nice because I know Jerrance real well. I went down to Illinois earlier this year. He could be like a brother to me."
The Illini made an early impression on Ellis during his sophomore year.
"I know from the school season they are very interested in me. It is a cool program. They are cool with kids. It is a great school."
Ellis stepped his up game during the July evaluation period with big-time coaches looking on.
"It is a great opportunity to play and have college coaches watching."
Scouts were impressed with the improvements he has made since high school season. Ellis says it is all about putting the work in to get better.
"I have been in the gym every day getting shots up. I am getting workouts in every day with my coaches, teammates, and playing open gym every day."
That hard work has paid off as high major schools are showing him love. He currently has a Northwestern offer, but others are seriously interested in him.
"Illinois, Miami, DePaul, Northwestern, Missouri, Missouri State and some others."
De La Salle loses several key pieces from last year's team, including Illini freshman Mike Shaw. But they have brought in one of the top freshmen in the state plus a transfer from across the Atlantic ocean.
"We are going to be good next year. We have a big guy coming in from Germany named Gavin Schilling. I think we are going to be really good."
What are the goals for next season?
"Our goal is to win the Catholic league and get a state championship."
Ellis, along with Schilling and Alex Foster, will be the foundation of a great team. He will be looked upon to elevate his game even more so they can reach their goals.