An early entry candidate for the 2005 NBA Draft. Originally committed to Mississippi State. Named to the 2005 McDonald’s All-America Team. Named one of 10 finalists for the Naismith Award, awarded to the nation’s top high school player. Named National Co-Player of the Year by PARADE Magazine.
High School Career Highlights: In four seasons, Ellis racked up 4,167 points -- second all-time in Mississippi history and tops among big-school players (5A and 4A). Became the Jackson Public Schools all-time leading scorer, surpassing Othella Harrington. His teams compiled a record of 129-16, appeared in four consecutive state championship finals and captured two state titles (2002, 2005).
2005 Postseason All-Star Games: Tallied eight points and two assists in the McDonald’s High School All-America game. In the Nike Hoop Summit against top international competition, had 13 points, five rebounds and four steals as the USA Select Team defeated the World Select Team, 106-98.
Senior (2004-05): Named Mr. Basketball in the state of Mississippi. Led his team to a 35-2 record and the Class 4A state championship. Averaged 38.4 points, including a career-high 72 points against Greenwood. Also contributed 7.9 assists, 6.9 rebounds and 4.5 steals. Scored 46 points against South Gwinnett high school and its top player, fellow draft prospect Louis Williams. Scored 42 points against Oak Hill Academy, ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today. Tallied 42 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in the state semifinal against New Albany. Named Player of the Year in Mississippi and First Team All-State by The Clarion-Ledger.
Junior (2003-04): Averaged 31.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals as the Bulldogs went 21-2 and were ranked No. 3 in the state. Scored 41 points against Oak Hill Academy.
Freshman (2001-02): Led the Bulldogs to the 4A crown, earning All-State and Metro Player of the Year honors from The Clarion-Ledger as a result -- the only freshman ever to do so.
Strengths: Very good at creating his own shot. Has good quickness and leaping ability. Solid ball-handling and passing skills should aid his adjustment to the point guard position in the pros.
Personal: Son of Rosa Ellis.