He had just as impressive an exit on the academic side, serving as one of four valedictorians at Heights’ May 22 graduation ceremony.
“It was great. A lot of people respect me for that,” Ellis, a 4.0 student, said Monday before taking part in drills with his new Kansas University basketball teammates at Bill Self’s hoops camp in Horejsi Center.
“It was real tough. It didn’t come easy to me,” he added of acing all his classes. “I really had to work in the classroom to do that. That’s what I tell a lot of people. Anybody can do it. You just really have to work.”
The 6-foot-8, 220-pound Ellis, who plans to major in business at KU, is taking two summer-school courses.
He hopes to keep his streak of A’s alive.
“I’m going to try,” he said of claiming a college 4.0. “It’s going to be tough again, another challenge for me, dealing with school and workouts and weights and all that. I’m going to definitely try.”
A long and distinguished list of former KU basketball players will descend on Lawrence this week for the Fourth Annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic at 7 p.m. Thursday at Free State High School.
The event, a benefit for three local families fighting cancer, includes a pregame concert at 5:30 p.m. and a post-game autograph session.
For now, the list of former Jayhawks scheduled to attend includes: Darnell Valentine, Wayne Simien, Russell Robinson, Keith Langford, Aaron Miles, Ron Kellogg, Christian Moody, Brady Morningstar, Ryan Robertson, Julian Wright, Xavier Henry, Tyrel Reed and Conner Teahan.
In addition, former KU standouts Bud Stallworth, Scot Pollard and Patrick Richey will serve as coaches, while KU football coach Charlie Weis will serve as an honorary coach.
Neil Everett, an anchor on ESPN’s SportsCenter, will also be in town to emcee the festivities.
Ticket information: $7; can be purchased before game day in Lawrence at the 23rd St. Brewery, 3512 Clinton Parkway, and the Great Plains Media studios, 3125 W. 6th St.
Many people’s dream in athletics is to make the Olympics and experience the event. The Olympic athletes from the United States were robbed of their dream in 1980 as the U.S. boycotted the Moscow games. Former Portland Trail Blazers guard Darnell Valentine joined the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano to not only talk about his NBA career but his experience as a member of the 1980 Olympic basketball team. Valentine and Canzano also talk about his college career at Kansas and the transition to the NBA.
Some NBA athletes have a career resurgence as they are able to extend their career overseas. Valentine talks about playing professional basketball overseas and how the experience was for a former NBA player. Enjoy this exclusive interview with Darnell Valentine found only on 750 The Game.
Audio at the link
University of Kansas basketball fans who follow the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder may have a hard time choosing a team to cheer for.
Mario Chalmers will be on the floor for the Heat, and Nick Collison and Cole Aldrich are with the Thunder as the Finals begin Tuesday in Oklahoma City.
“I’m excited,” Kansas basketball coach Bill Self said. “I think the two best teams are playing. It should be a great experience.”
…“Nick has done great,” Self said. “He’s a smart player. The Thunder is strong inside with (Serge) Ibaka and (Kendrick) Perkins, and Nick is on the same level as those guys. He can guard anybody.”
Aldrich has appeared in just four playoff games this year for the Thunder. His best chance to get in a Finals game is if there is a blowout.
But, Self said, Aldrich is part of the Thunder’s future.
“They are high on Cole and think that he will become an impact player,” Self said.
In addition to the former KU players, Self will be watching Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, who caused the Jayhawks a lot of problems during his college days at Texas.
“He’s unbelievable,” Self said. “The two best players in the world (Durant and James) are playing. It should be real interesting.”
Self said he isn’t sure how the Finals will turn out, but he does give an advantage to Durant and his teammates.
“I think the Thunder has the better team,” Self said. “Either way, KU wins.”
Last year’s basketball clinic by Jeff Boschee was a huge success, and now the camp is hoping to make a stop in Augusta once again.
Boschee, a former Kansas basketball great, will team with David Devaney, a former head basketball coach and current assistant coach in the Kansas City area. They will run the clinic Monday, June 25 and Tuesday, June 26 at Augusta High School.
The clinics also feature at least one or two current Jayhawk basketball players, who are kept a surprise until the clinic. Travis Releford was one Jayhawk who helped at the camp last year. Other players who have made an appearance includes Mario Chalmers, Darrell Arthur and Cole Aldrich.
Big 12/College News
while with the Tigers in Omaha for the NCAA tournament.
Crackerjack team there at the Star, heh?
The Big East sued TCU for failing to pay the conference $5 million after the school reneged on an agreement to become a member and chose to join the Big 12 instead.
The Big East filed the lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Washington.
Sandusky trial begins
2012-13 Early Season Events List
North senior Conner Frankamp, who played with USA Basketball last summer, has been invited to the training camp starting June 15 and lasting through June 17 with twice-daily practices.
Thirty-one players have been been invited and the 12-member team will be chosen on June 17 to train through June 20. The team will train and compete June 22-25, in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. During that time the U.S. will participate in the 2012 Spain U17 International Invitational, featuring U17 teams from Australia, Latvia and host Spain, June 24-25.
The USA Basketball team will open its defense of the FIBA U17 World Championship by playing Australia on June 29, the Czech Republic on June 30, Egypt on July 1 and France on July 3 before closing preliminary play against China on July 4. The top four finishing teams from each group will advance to the medal round with the quarterfinals staged on July 6, the semifinals on July 7 and the finals on July 8.
Spring/Summer Event Schedule
adidas Grassroots schedule
Nike EYBL Schedule
Check here for the NCAA Recruiting Calendar
My 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, KU Alumni games, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more now on Youtube