Learning from Big Brothers

After watching his big brothers go through the recruiting process, Rice Lake (WI) four-star junior center Henry Ellenson is well prepared for the recruiting process.

While being the youngest child with a couple of older brothers isn't always the easiest situation to grow up in, Henry Ellenson calls being the youngest in his basketball family a blessing instead of a burden.

After all, he watched his oldest brother, Wally, get recruited to Minnesota (where he'll be a sophomore this season) and second-older brother, Ellwood, commit to Bemidji State in the 2013 recruiting class, meaning the Rice Lake (WI) junior center got the benefit of honing his skills against some pretty good basketball players.

"It's nice to have the luxury of having older brothers being good who are going to get you better," the youngest Ellenson told Badger Nation. "It's been nice to be able to play against them. It's good competition.

He also got to experience two different recruit processes. While Ellwood was lightly recruited before setting on his division 2 program, Wally had a couple division 1 offers and interactions with several other high profile coaching staffs before setting on the Gophers.

"I just watched how they handled the process, how they talked to coaches was a big thing and always knowing what they wanted," said Ellenson. "They always looked at what things were best for them, which is the one big thing I learned."

It's a good thing Ellenson was paying attention since his recruitment is bigger than his two older brother's processes combined. The 6-9, 250-pound Ellenson currently holds offers from Arizona State, Baylor, Boston College, Creighton, DePaul, Georgetown, Iowa, Iowa State, Marquette, Minnesota, Oklahoma State and Wisconsin.

While Wisconsin passed on Wally because of Zak Showalter already in the fold, the Badgers felt that the four-star Henry – currently ranked the No.10 center in the 2015 class by Fox Sports Next – was a key target to fortify its interior post defense.

"It was a good offer to get," said Ellenson, who got offered by UW in March but has yet to visit for a game. "It's a great school. My relationship has really grown with (the coaches) this year, just getting to know them. Coach Gard has attended a lot of my practices and watched me play AAU. I know Bo (Ryan) has been up here to watch me compete in track."

Ellenson has also been hearing more from Minnesota now that first year head coach Richard Pitino is in place. Ellenson admitted that the proximity to the campus – just two hours from his home – and the fact that his brother plays there will be a factor in his recruitment.

"I am interested in them for those reasons," said Ellenson of the Gophers. "I haven't made up a list of favorites and I am trying to stay open because it's a big decision. It's a big decision, so I want to see what all my options are."

After averaging 21.5 points per game last season for Rice Lake, helping lead his team to a 21-5 record, Ellenson has been a busy man on the AAU circuit with D1 Minnesota. He participated and won a tournament in Denver, played in Atlanta and in Chicago in the spring. He started the summer circuit in Indianapolis, is playing this weekend in Minnesota and finishing next weekend in Las Vegas at the Adidas Super 64.

He has no timetable for making his decision or narrowing his list.

"I am literally trying to be a better player all around," said Ellenson. "I've tried to improve on my dribbling, get up and down the floor quick and do things like that. I am not looking to put any (recruiting) pressure on myself. I just want to think about basketball right now and enjoy the experience."

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