Ellis honored for dedication to community service

Perry Ellis, Prince Ibeh
Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) dunks over Texas center Prince Ibeh (44) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

LAWRENCE, Kansas – Kansas men’s basketball senior-to-be Perry Ellis received the Honorary Hero Award at the Real Men, Real Heroes Annual Recognition Event, July 21, in his hometown of Wichita.

While earning valedictorian honors and maintaining a 4.0 grade point average at Wichita Heights High School, where he guided the Falcons to four-straight state titles from 2009-12, Ellis also volunteered as a mentor to local youth for the Teen Hero program for Real Men, Real Heroes (RMRH). When Ellis returns to Wichita from his busy schedule at KU, the 2015 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection continues to work with the Teen Hero program.

“As a kid, my coach, Steve Young, would tell me to try to become a better person and better player every day. That’s something I ran with,” Ellis told the crowd during his acceptance speech. “I got the chance to be a Teen Hero in high school. I got the chance to talk to kids and show them what it takes, what choices they need to make and really how important academics are. That is something that is huge. In college, I also got the opportunity to come home and go with buddies to certain schools and do certain things and that’s been a great opportunity for me. It’s built confidence in myself and even the kids.”

Ellis was selected for the Honorary Hero Award by the Board of the Real Men, Real Heroes as an individual whose extraordinary contributions to the community markedly enhance the organization’s ability to execute its mission.

From its website, Real Men, Real Heroes is a non-profit organization that provides mentoring, tutoring, guidance and encouragement to elementary, middle and high school students in Wichita, Kansas. The mission of Real Men, Real Heroes is to positively impact youth through meaningful interactions with male role models in order to build stronger communities.

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