Former Sheffield Sharks basketball player Quinn Ellis has been declared for the 2023 NBA draft giving him a chance to play in the richest league in the world.
The 20 year old combo guard started his career with his local club at just 15, competing in the U16 Premier competition.
After just one year, the youngster was picked up by Italian team Orlandina BA to play in Italy’s Junior division where it took him two years to be promoted to their first team.
This season he signed for second division Italian side Monferrato, with Ellis also competing for team GB in the World Cup Qualifiers.
Ellis is having a stellar season for Monferrato Basket, with his statistics impressing pundits.
Jon Chepkevich, director of scouting for Daft Express, a private scouting and analytics service utilised by the NBA, said: “Quinn Ellis submitted his name as a 2023 NBA Draft early entrant prior to last night’s deadline, I’m told. The 2003-born British 6’4” lefty combo guard averaged 11.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.2 steals for Novipiú Casale Monferrato in Italy Serie A2 this season.”
Looking at his family however, Ellis’ success is not a mystery. His grandmother, Betty Codona, is seen as the architect of women’s basketball in Great Britain after launching the Sheffield Hatters more than 60 years ago.
His mother Vanessa is an assistant coach for GB Women, a side that his cousin Georgia Gayle plays for.
As well as family, he has the support of GB teammate Devon van Oostrum, who also grew up in Sheffield and began his career with the Sharks.
Alongside Tosan Evbuomwan, he is only the second British player to enter this year’s NBA draft, acting as an outsider in a sport usually dominated by North America.
Ellis’ popularity has massively risen over the last year, with him also claiming MVP honours at the Hoopsfix All-Star Classic.
Many basketball fans are singing the praises of the Brit, suggesting he could be a solid backup pick for many teams.
Fan Edoardo Pollero said: “Quinn Ellis is my ‘two cents’ name in the next NBA Draft, he has all the tools to be a serious ‘draft and stash’ candidate. I’ll bet on his upside as an athletic combo guard with room to become also a reliable second/third option on defence.”
Ellis could act as a role model for many young British basketball players, especially to the Sheffield Sharks juniors, who will want to follow in his footsteps in his NBA aspirations.
At just 19, he still has a long way to go in a career with bags of potential, as Ellis strives to live up to his grandmother’s name.