Originally published September 19, 2011 at 08:24a.m., updated September 20, 2011 at 01:05a.m.
Wichita Heights senior blue-chip basketball forward Perry Ellis will orally commit to Kansas University, Kansas State, Wichita State or Kentucky at a 2:45 p.m. assembly Wednesday in the Heights gymnasium.
The 6-foot-8, 220-pound Ellis — who has been a target of college coaches since the eighth grade when he was featured in Sports Illustrated — recently had in-home visits with coaches of his four finalists. He has made unofficial recruiting trips to all four schools.
“We enjoyed this process, but I think because he was recruited at such a young age, we are ready to go to the next step and have him decide, and then we move on to the senior season and then go off to college,” Ellis’ mom, Fonda, said Monday night. “We’ve done a lot of traveling the last two years. We’ve been to the campuses a lot. Every time we visited a school, he either went to class or a game or saw practice or took tours of the facilities. We did all that. He didn’t think he needed to do that again. He’s decided to decide and then take one official visit to the school he picked.”
Ellis, a three-time Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year and Rivals.com’s No. 24-rated player nationally, has led Heights to three-straight state titles.
“It’s an exciting time,” Fonda Ellis said, noting no final decision has been reached. “Well, he is still sleeping on it, but all the schools are still working hard. We have not notified any of the coaches. They all are in the same position at this point because they are all still working.
“We had coach Manning (Danny, KU) come today. We think a couple coaches are coming tomorrow to Heights. They (coaches) are not done yet. They are fighting until the end.”
Fonda said nobody would know the final decision until the assembly.
Goodwin cuts KU, UConn
Archie Goodwin, a 6-4 senior guard from Sylvan Heights High in Little Rock, Ark., announced on Twitter on Monday that he’d canceled upcoming visits to Kansas and UConn.
“Both are very great schools but I’m going to drop them from my list,” said Rivals.com’s No. 12-rated recruit, who has a final three of Arkansas, Kentucky and Memphis. He had originally planned on attending Saturday’s Legend of the Phog exhibition game in Allen Fieldhouse.
Aldrich, Collison give back
Former KU players Nick Collison and Cole Aldrich of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder today will help tip off FitClub34, a program founded by former KU player Paul Pierce to encourage physical fitness among youth. KU coach Bill Self’s Assists Foundation and Kansas Athletics worked together with Pierce’s “The Truth on Health” campaign to bring FitClub34 to Lawrence. The event will be at 4:15 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club of East Heights.
FitClub34 and The Truth on Health campaign are initiatives of The Truth Fund, a foundation started by Boston Celtics standout Pierce in 2002. Members of FitClub34 receive a Paul Pierce Activity Watch, which tracks physical activity. Youths must make a promise to lead a healthier lifestyle by eating smart and exercising for one hour per day. For every 60 minutes of activity logged, members receive reward codes, which are entered into the FitClub34 Website and exchanged for points and prizes. FitClub34 members participate online at http://truthonhealth.org/fitclub34/.
“We are excited about this partnership,” KU coach Bill Self said. “Paul is as passionate as we are about encouraging kids to get active and live healthy lives. Providing unique opportunities for them to do that and be rewarded for it is a win for everybody.”
Cox Communications Kansas 22 has joined the Jayhawk Television Network lineup for Saturday’s Legends of the Phog charity basketball game in Allen Fieldhouse. Metro Sports will televise the game in the Kansas City area. The 4 p.m., game will be shown on the internet on AT&T; Jayhawk All Access. One can subscribe to All Access at www.kuathletics.com.