Former University of Kansas basketball players Perry Ellis and David McCormack played against each other on Wednesday in an FIBA Europe Cup game in France.
In a Group D semifinal, Ellis’ Cholet Basket team, which is based in France, defeated McCormack’s Besiktas JK squad 93-62 in Munich. Besiktas JK is a team that is based in Turkey.
Ellis, a 6-foot-8 forward from Wichita who turned 29 on Sept. 14, scored 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting while starting and playing 22 minutes for the winning team. He hit 6 of 9 shots overall and was 1-of-3 from three. Ellis also had three rebounds, an assist, a steal and a blocked shot.
McCormack, a 6-10, 23-year-old forward from Norfolk, Virginia, scored 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting. He was 3-of-4 from the line. McCormack also had seven rebounds while starting and playing 29 minutes.
The FIBA Europe Cup qualifiers are being held to determine slots for the regular season. A total of seven teams qualify for the regular season through qualifiers.
Ellis, who was not taken in the 2016 NBA Draft, headed overseas after playing his first season of pro ball (2016-17) for the Greensboro (North Carolina) Swarm of the NBA G League. After that, he played in Australia, Italy, Germany and Turkey. After undergoing knee surgery in the summer of 2019, Ellis spent the 2019-20 season working as KU basketball coach Bill Self’s video coordinator.
In 2020-21, he returned to the court, playing for Ehime Orange Vikings in Japan. In 2021-22, he played for Osaka Evessa in Japan, then was acquired by Saga Ballooners, another squad in Japan. A U.S. player was hurt on Saga’s team, thus Osaka loaned Ellis to Saga. In 19 games last season for Saga, Ellis averaged 15.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. For Osaka Evessa, he averaged 10.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 14 games.
“It’s a blessing,” Ellis told The Star in July of playing in so many places. “Not a lot of people get to play and travel like this. I’m making the most of this opportunity while I can.”
McCormack, who was not taken in the 2022 NBA Draft, is in his first season as a professional. He helped KU to the 2022 NCAA title.
He played for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2022 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas while on a non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 contract. An Exhibit 10 contract can be converted to a two-way contract that allows players to compete in both the NBA and the G League during the same season.
McCormack worked out for several teams, including Atlanta, Minnesota, Washington and the Los Angeles Lakers during the predraft process. He also interviewed with several teams at the G League Elite camp in May.
McCormack averaged 10.6 points and 7.0 boards a game in 2021-22 for KU’s national championship team. He hit 50.8% of his shots and 75.8% of his free throws. He also had 33 blocks in 40 games.