basketball Edit

Introducing three-star wing Emarion Ellis

Emarion Ellis
Emarion Ellis

In the coming weeks, we will be looking at several under-the-radar prospects that were primed to use the travel circuit to boost their recruiting stock this summer. Now, with grassroots basketball on hold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, these prospects may not get the exposure in the coming months as they would have otherwise.

Today, we take a look at Emarion Ellis.



A 6-foot-5 2-guard that is a member of the 2021 class, Emarion Ellis is one of the more slept on prospects from the Midwest. He attends Central High School, in Davenport, Iowa, and has become a standout at two separate sports.

While his focus remains on basketball, Ellis is also a respected football recruit that has drawn interest from the in-state Iowa Hawkeyes for his abilities on the gridiron. On the hardwood this past season, Ellis averaged 18 points, eight rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

Slated to run again with the Iowa Barnstormers this summer, his coach, Jamie Pettigrew, gave his feelings on the talented junior. “Emarion has elite handles and footwork, athleticism and first step ability to get by a defender. At 6-foot-5 and with great length and good strength, he has the tools to be a high-level college player,” he said. “He won’t turn 17 until late July so he is young for a 2021 prospect and with that, Emarion possesses a tremendous amount of upside. He is a capable shooter as well, and as he becomes more efficient from deep, he becomes a matchup nightmare.”


Schools throughout his region have shown interest, yet no one has decided to make the offer to Ellis. In the meantime, Belmont, Bradley, South Dakota, South Dakota State, UMKC and Western Illinois have done a good job of remaining in contact with him.

Before the coronavirus shut things down, Ellis was hoping to visit a handful of schools. Two unofficial visits were scheduled to see the campuses at South Dakota State and UMKC, which would have become the first two schools that Ellis has ever seen as a prospective student-athlete.


I remember getting the chance to see Ellis for the first time two summers ago in Los Angeles as a rising sophomore and was intrigued by his size, ball skills and IQ. Fast-forward to the current day and after watching his latest film, I am rather shocked that he has yet to land an offer.

Ellis has grown over three inches since I first saw him, gotten much longer and much more athletic. He still has to become a more consistent perimeter jump shooter but it is a weapon that must be monitored whenever his feet are set. His greatest value comes in his ability to create for himself and others off the bounce. He drives with his head up, is rather shifty on the go, and can then deliver pin-point passes or finish on either side of the hoop.

The long and tough-nosed guard is a solid athlete that can finish through contact but also is rather crafty off his feet. He plays much bigger than his size on the defensive end as a shot blocker but has the feet and instincts to guard a variety of positions along the perimeter, too.

Ellis may be a fringe high-major prospect but there is no reason, even with the ongoing pandemic at hand, that the best regional mid-majors haven’t offered him yet. The local Missouri Valley schools should be all hands-on deck and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few Big 10 schools also gave a call to Ellis before his recruitment completes.