Former Kansas basketball forward and Wichita native Perry Ellis, who played last season for the Ehime Orange Vikings in Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan, has reached agreement to return to Japan to play for Osaka Evessa during the 2021-22 season.
Ellis, a 6-foot-8 Wichita native who graduated from KU in 2016, averaged 18.3 points and 5.7 rebounds in 47 games in Japan’s pro league a year ago. He hit 51.9% of his shots, including 43.7% from three-point range.
Since leaving KU, the 27-year-old Ellis has played in the NBA G League and in Australia, Italy, Germany, Turkey and Japan. This new contract will be for one season, a source close to Ellis confirmed.
“I’m excited to get the chance to play for Osaka! I hear so many good things about the city of Osaka. I’m looking forward to meeting the fans and exploring the city,” Ellis said in a statement.
“I’m excited to help the team win as many games as possible and win a championship. I want to thank you all for giving me the opportunity to come to Osaka. See you soon!”
General manager Abe Tatsuya said in a release that the team had hoped to have Ellis on the roster during the 2019-20 season. But Ellis was injured in a summer basketball game and spent a season rehabbing while working on Bill Self’s KU support staff at KU. His contract in Japan for that season was nullified because of the injury.
“As many of you may know, this is the second contract with Perry Ellis. I announced the contract two years ago, but he was devoted to treatment for one year due to a serious injury just before the start of the season,” Tatsuya said. “At the prestigious University of Kansas, he made a presence by advancing to the top 8 (2015-16) in the NCAA tournament. A player with a very high basketball IQ, he is dexterous in both power forward and small forward positions. In particular, his three-point shooting exceeded 40% last season, which poses a threat to the opponent. I’m really looking forward to this season with Perry Ellis.”
Ellis is expected to leave for Japan in August and remain overseas 10 months. He will be getting married on June 18.
Ellis as stated sat out the 2019-20 season before playing in Japan last year. Prior to that, in 2018-19, Ellis played fpr Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyesi in the Turkish BSL league. He averaged 13.8 points and 4.8 rebounds in 12 games. He also played for Oliver Baskets (BBL) in the German League, averaging 12.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 12 games. He played nine games in the FIBA Europe Cup, averaging 13.3 points and 3.8 rebounds a game.