Former KU forward Perry Ellis may play next season in Australia

Perry Ellis, took part in last year’s NBA Draft Combine. | Charles Rex Arbogast | The Associated Press

By Gary Bedore

Former Kansas forward Perry Ellis has signed a contract with the Sydney Kings of the National Basketball League in Australia, the team has announced.

Ellis, who was not selected in the 2016 NBA Draft after a stellar career at Kansas, averaged 9.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game for Greensboro (N.C.) in the NBA Development League last season.

He recently was one of the top performers at the D-League Elite mini-camp in Chicago. The event featured 40 of the D-League’s top players in front of NBA scouts.

Ellis still plans on trying to make an NBA roster for the coming season. He will play for the Kings if he does not net an NBA contract for the coming season. His agent is planning NBA workouts for the NBA for the end of May and June, an Ellis family member said Friday. The Sydney contract is for one season.

“Perry Ellis is a rare combination of very high character and very high performance wrapped into one guy,” Kings managing director Jeff Van Groningen said Friday. “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.”

Coach Andrew Gaze said: “I have followed Perry’s career for a number of years and always enjoy watching Kansas play. 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.”

The 6-foot-8 Ellis averaged 12.5 points and 5.8 rebounds over 144 college games at KU. He averaged 16.9 points and 5.8 rebounds his senior year in 2015-16.

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