COLLEGES: Tyler JC, Louisiana Tech
VITALS: 6'7", 215 lbs.
YEAR DRAFTED: 1992 by Phoenix (Round 2, Pick 49)
RIGHTS HELD BY: Phoenix
Ron Ellis was drafted at the bottom of the second round of the 1992 Draft. The 1992 Draft's first round produced some big stars like Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning, as well as some All-Star caliber players like Latrell Sprewell, Christian Laettner, and Tom Gugliotta. Seven time champion Robert Horry, Jim Jackson, and several other long tenured NBA players were selected in the first.
The second round was not as bountiful. The only lengthy career from the second set of picks was oddly enough from Ellis' teammate at Louisiana Tech, P.J. Brown. I'd say more about Brown's career but I'm sure you don't want to read paragraphs riddled with senseless cursing and childish name calling. If you did, I'm sorry. Ron Ellis doesn't draw my ire however so let's get back to him.
After two seasons at Tyler Junior College in which he averaged a double-double in each season, Ellis took his talents slightly east to Karl Malone's old stomping grounds, Louisiana Tech. His rebounding numbers dropped in his bump up to Division I but his scoring held fairly firm. The Bulldogs made the postseason both of Ellis's years in powder blue. The first year they made it to the NCAA Tournament via a conference tournament championship. They were given a 12 seed by the committee and drew Wake Forest in the first round. They gave the Demon Deacons a run for their money but were defeated. The next season they received the consolation prize of an NIT berth after losing to Southwestern Louisiana in the Sun Belt conference finals. Their stay in the tournament was just as short lived as they fell to New Mexico.
The 1992 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year was drafted by Phoenix but never adorned the orange and purple. He instead wore the colors of the Fort Wayne Fury of the CBA, a team that would later employ the likes of wrestler Kevin Nash and rapper Master P as players. He would end the season on the Rochester Renegade, who would conclude 1992/93 at 6-50. It was off to Belgium for Ellis after that. He had two separate stops with Spirou Charleroi where he won six Belgian titles, 4 Belgian Cups, and 2 Belgian SuperCups. He had a brief stint in Greece in between the two tenures. He'd finish his career up with the Antwerp Giants and Liege, gaining Belgian citizenship in the process before retiring.
The Suns had a lot of turnover in an inspired 2013-14 so the fact that Ellis's rights are retained still leaves me chalking up to unfiled paperwork. Ron Ellis is the oldest American (46) with his draft rights still retained. That's something that could make you say uh. Wait, I shouldn't get a head of myself. I should consult an expert.
Thanks for reading the eighth installment of Draft Rights Retained right here on Bleeding Your Colors! I hope you enjoyed it and look forward to bringing you more wacky stories of players who the NBA has long since forgotten, but not
their draft rights. Stay locked for a new profile each and every day until the list is exhausted. For more of me, check out my Twitter @TREVORutley. For less of me, join an Amish community.
Image Credits: Ron Ellis (thedraftreview.com), Master P (turner.com/si)