For Pete's Sake

Perry Ellis writes open letter to KU bidding farewell

Perry Ellis on his final game at KU

After scoring just four points in KU's season-ending loss, senior Perry Ellis and teammate Wayne Selden talked about Ellis' career.
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After scoring just four points in KU's season-ending loss, senior Perry Ellis and teammate Wayne Selden talked about Ellis' career.

Perry Ellis answered one question for KU fans: Yes, he’s seen the funny tweets about how long he’s been a Jayhawk.

On Thursday, Ellis posted an essay on The Players Tribune entitled, “Thank you, Kansas.”

Ellis recounted watching his first at Allen Fieldhouse when he was 12 years old, and the impact that made on him. Later, he described his first game with the Jayhawks.

“I’ll never forget how loud it was. The fans knew. That’s how great they are. They knew how much it meant for a kid from Wichita to choose the University of Kansas. I wanted to make them proud. For a long time I was one of them, and now I was playing for them. Now I was playing for something bigger than myself. I was playing for the kid who was sitting with his dad in the stands, hoping to one day be in my shoes. I was representing Kansas. This was my state. These were my people.

“Finally, as the ball went up for the opening tip, all my pregame nerves floated away.

“As the first student-led chants began, I exhaled and thought, once again, I’m home.

Ellis was effusive in his praise of Jayhawks coach Bill Self, then turned his attention to the fans.

“To the University of Kansas and my fellow students: Thank you. Just thank you. Thank you for embracing me as a player. Thank you for putting your trust in me. Thank you for understanding me and cheering me on when I needed it the most. Wichita is where I was born, but now I will always consider Lawrence home. You’ve helped me so much as a player and as a person.

“I’m going to miss walking around campus hearing, ‘Rock Chalk!’

“I’m going to miss the tough camps and workouts with my teammates.

“I’m going to miss the feeling of accomplishing things with this amazing team.

“I’m going to miss having KANSAS stitched across my chest.

“Heck, I’ll even miss some of the jokes about how old I look.

“(Nah, probably not. Although it was an honor to have been able to play with Wilt Chamberlain.)”

See? Ellis saw those tweets about how long he’d been playing at KU.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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