This won't be Perry Ellis' first trip to Kentucky, but it will be his first time to get inside Rupp Arena and see what the home court for the Wildcats actually looks like.
His family stopped in Lexington on July 4th, 2009, on their way back to Wichita, Kan., from Memphis where Ellis' sister plays for the Tigers. "There was something going on and we couldn't get inside," his mother, Fonda, said.
That won't be a problem Friday when Ellis and his family get to watch UK open regular-season play against East Tennessee State. They are making the 12-hour drive from Wichita to Lexington Thursday so they can find out more about the Wildcats, one of 10 to 15 schools that remain on the 6-8 junior power forward's college list.
"I told (assistant) coach (Orlando) Antigua we would be interested in talking to academic advisors and meeting with some academic folks," Fonda Ellis said. "We might like to possibly meet with the trainer. We have the whole day Friday to spend, so coach Antigua is working on a schedule for us.
"We are really looking forward to the visit. It is fun to get to know the program better and talk more to the coaches and see what they have to offer. It will be a great experience."
Ellis would possibly like to cut his college list to five to seven schools before his season starts in December. That list includes schools such as Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Memphis, all schools he has visited. Others known to be on the list other than Kentucky are Texas A&M, Wichita State, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Iowa. Georgetown, UCLA, Miami and Stanford are also interested in Ellis, a two-time Gatorade player of the year in Kansas who has already scored over 1,000 points and won two state championships.
"I really think he enjoys his visits. This will be our fifth or sixth visit," Fonda Ellis said. "Now that he sees even though he still has two years of high school that it is getting closer to decision time, I think he is taking a more serious approach to visits than he has in the past. He's really starting to focus in more on how the coaches react and how the practices are. He's trying to observe the players more."
And what will she be looking for on the Kentucky visit?
"I like to see how players and coaches interact with each other. If a player does something wrong, what does the coach do and how does a player react. I want to see the respect and the teaching part. If a player does something wrong, do they (the coaches) show them what they did wrong or do they get snatched out right away? Do you get to redeem yourself?
"We have watched Kentucky play on TV several times, but you do not get to see everything by watching on TV. I am excited to get to go to a real game and be their first hand to see what Kentucky basketball is all about."
Several reports have had Ellis leaning to various team. Fonda Ellis says none of the reports have been accurate.
"We don't really pay attention to it all yet. Perry stays totally out of the media and Internet stuff. He doesn't have a clue what is even being said. He is not worried about that kind of thing. He knows what he needs to do and how he feels. He doesn't see what is being said unless someone asks him about it," Fonda Ellis said.
"He is trying to narrow his list down by the time his season starts. We haven't talked about what date to actually cut the list down, but he wants to do it before his season starts. He is trying to get in as many visits as he can to help make the right decisions."
Ellis family set to visit Kentucky
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