It's the kind of career that most high school players dream of. A state championship, a state player of the year award, invites to prestigious camps like the LeBron James Skills Academy and runs with USA Basketball. By just playing his game, Perry Ellis has already been there done that and 6-foot-7 forward at Wichita (Kan.) Heights hasn't even reached the second semester of his sophomore year.
Not surprisingly, those type of early results have generated quite a bit of attention and Ellis has become one of the most talked about Kansas schoolboy athletes in years. Naturally shy and reserved with media, Ellis is learning to deal with the heavy scrutiny.
"I do like that people are looking at me like that," said Ellis of the attention. "It means that people think I'm one of the better players so that's good, but it's hard sometimes."
Saturday night, Ellis and his Wichita Heights teammates were in Kansas City taking part in the Hy-Vee Shootout. Playing against Columbi (Mo.) Rock Bridge, Ellis scored 21 points while grabbing seven rebounds.
"It was ok. I was getting sat on defense," said Ellis of the game. "That team played real well. We played real hard, but we lost."
Saturday night's sagging man to man, box and ones, triangle and twos with both men dedicated to him, Ellis has seen it all.
"Pretty much, defense switches every night," said Ellis. "I've seen zone, I've seen man. All of it."
Although he didn't discuss his recruiting situation, it's well known that he's been one of more heavily recruited players in the class of 2012. Schools like Kansas (who had an assistant on hand Saturday night), Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Memphis, Kentucky, Wichita State and several others have been in to see him.
Ellis thinks they like his overall package but understands he still has work to do in taking his game to the next level.
"I think I can take people off the dribble and rebound," said Ellis of his game. I'm working on my perimeter game. My shooting, stuff like that. I think by my senior year I'll be out there playing a lot."
For the time being, Ellis is simply focused on doing all he can to get Wichita Heights back to the state title game. He understands that the attention is always going to be there and that the schools will continue to keep calling. He'll deal with it the same way he has been for a while, he'll just keep playing.
"It's hard at times, but you just got to try and play hard every game," said Ellis. "You try not to think about it and just play."