Perry Ellis inks contract Down Under
The Sydney Kings professional basketball team in the National Basketball League in Australia announced with gusto on Thursday night the signing of former KU standout Perry Ellis.
Ellis, who went undrafted after his four-year Kansas career, bounced around the NBA's D League during his first season away from Kansas before signing with the Kings this week.
Language on both the team's official web site and on Twitter clearly demonstrated just how excited the Kings were to land Ellis. "We got him," they wrote on Twitter, while the headline on the news release announcing his signing read, "Sydney Kings Sign Dream Recruit."
According to the release, Ellis will participate in a full summer schedule in the United States before joining his new teammates in Sydney unless an NBA contract is offered as a result of his summer performances.
Kings Managing Director, Jeff Van Groningen, flew to the United States to nail down negotiations with Ellis and his agent, and, clearly, came away excited about the team's newest player.
“Perry Ellis is a rare combination of very high character and very high performance wrapped into one guy," Van Groningen said. "We know that Perry has aspirations to make the NBA and we know he is an elite talent. We support his quest in that regard and he will support ours as we try to reach the upper reaches of our own league. We couldn’t be happier that Perry has signed with the Sydney Kings."
Kings coach Andrew Gaze, who is one of the most popular and often regarded as the best Australian player of all time, added his take on the team's latest signing.
“I have followed Perry’s career for a number of years and always enjoy watching Kansas play," said Gaze, who played two seasons in the NBA after his college career at Seton Hall. "As far back as this time last year Jeff and I spoke about how beneficial it would be if a guy ‘like’ Perry Ellis could join our team – so it’s fair to say we are thrilled that we have the man himself signing with us. His pedigree, versatility and basketball IQ will be key attributes that will assist us in strongly moving this program forward."