Ellis takes in Sunflower Showdown

As a native son of the state of Kansas, Wichita (KS) Heights junior standout Perry Ellis is well familiar with the rivalry between the Jayhawks and the Wildcats of Kansas State. Saturday, he was courtside in Lawrence, Kan. for the latest iteration of the Sunflower Showdown on the hardwood, and his mother, Fonda, spoke to Phog.net about the experience.

Perry Ellis has been to the University of Kansas on basketball visits before, but it's safe to say this one was a little bit different.

And not for the reasons one might expect. A native son of the Sunflower State, the 6-foot-8, 225-pound combo forward from Wichita (KS) Heights High School fully understands the importance of the rivalry between Kansas and Kansas State to both players and fans.

But this time, he was more excited to see Jayhawk Nation honor one of their own, as the jersey of former Kansas All-American Wayne Simien – himself a native of Leavenworth, Kan. – took its rightful place among those of the greatest players in Kansas basketball history.

"I was so impressed with him," said Fonda Ellis, Perry's mother, who accompanied her son on the trip. "He is a great young man and has a beautiful family. The crowd was so embracing with him. Perry and I both got the opportunity to talk to Wayne after the game."

While on the unofficial visit, Ellis had the chance to speak with Kansas coaches and players, as well as the large handful of talented hoops recruits visiting the Lawrence, Kan. campus for unofficial visits of their own.

"They didn't get to talk too much, but (Perry) did some after the game," Fonda Ellis said. "I got to meet the families of several of them. Everyone seemed really nice. They definitely had a great group of 2012 and 2013 (prospects) in attendance, that is for sure."

Ellis has been a frequently flyer in recent months, taking unofficial visits to a number of programs. He currently maintains a list of six schools – a list that includes Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Memphis, Oklahoma and Wichita State.

With his own prep season winding down, he and his family aren't quite finished traveling yet. They have two more unofficials scheduled for the month of February.

"We are going to K-State vs. OU on the 19th, and OU vs. KU on the 26th," Fonda Ellis said. "That is all we have scheduled at this time."


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