A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Perry Ellis
School: Heights (Wichita, Kan.)
Position: Power forward
Weight: 225 pounds
Athletic achievement: The state’s three-time returning Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Ellis led the Falcons to a 23-2 record and a fourth consecutive Class 6A state championship this past season. He amassed 29 points and seven rebounds in a 67-60, title-clinching victory against Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.). The McDonald’s All-American averaged 25.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals per game. Also a three-time returning Class 6A First Team All-State selection as named by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, he shot 67.0 percent from the field, 43.4 percent from 3-point range and 78.3 percent from the free throw line. Ellis is the first boys basketball player in the nation to win Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year honors four times in the award program’s 27-year history.
Academic excellence: Ellis has maintained a 4.00 GPA in the classroom, ranks No. 1 in his graduating class and serves as secretary of his school’s National Honor Society chapter.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth basketball instructor, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the Wichita Children’s Home, with the Real Men, Real Heroes’ Teen Hero program, as part of multiple youth literacy-outreach initiatives and as a motivational speaker to youth athletes, addressing the importance of education.
“He has continued to achieve excellence as a player with outstanding character,” said Ron Allen, head coach at East (Wichita, Kan.). “I can’t think of anyone that has done as much for his team and himself than Perry.”
THE FUTURE: Ellis has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Kansas this fall.