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Three years ago, Darwin (Buddha) Ellis made a name for himself by beating Boys & Girls at the buzzer of the Brooklyn borough championship game with a 3-pointer. Since then, he has won two city championships and two state Federation Class AA titles, serving as Lance Stephenson’s partner in crime.
The game was at St. Francis College – his next destination.
Ellis, a 5-foot-8 combo guard, committed to the Brooklyn Heights school two days ago when finding out his grades had improved to the point he would be able to pass the NCAA Clearinghouse. A source within the program said the Terriers expect Ellis to be fully enrolled at the school in September.
“I love the court,” he said. “It’s easy to shoot on. I feel like I’m at home already.”
Ellis, a Sheepshead Bay native who averaged eight points and six assists per game during the regular season, is considered one of the top shooters in the city, a clutch marksman who crushes opponent’s spirits with long 3-pointers.
“I’m happy about it,” he said. “I like staying in Brooklyn. I wanted to play near my home.”
Ellis said fourth-year coach Brian Nash promised he could contribute right away, but is also part of the program’s future. He was recruited as a point guard.
“I just fit his program,” Ellis said. “I’m a fast guard, he likes aggressive defense and he likes to push the ball. That’s my game. It’s perfect for me.”
Said Lincoln coach Dwayne (Tiny) Morton, who played in the NEC, at Central Connecticut State and LIU: “They did a good job recruiting him; they recruited him for a while. I think he’ll be great in that conference. It’s good for him.”
Ellis, who was also being recruited by LIU and Manhattan, struggled with his shot early in the year due to a broken left pinkie finger. But he has come on of late, scoring 16 points in last Thursday’s Brooklyn AA-clinching victory over Boys & Girls.
If Lincoln reaches the Brooklyn borough finals, a tournament they have won three years running, Ellis would step on the St. Francis court yet again. It will be his permanent home soon enough.
“I really thought about it for a while; everybody wanted me to go away,” he recalled. “But I wanted to stay home. Now my family can see me play all the time on a higher level.”
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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