Last season, the sharpshooting Akeem Ellis was part of an unique movement in Rio Grande Valley. The Vipers took the minor league by storm, setting a variety of three-point (and other) shooting and scoring associated records along the way. Their run and gun style overwhelmed defenses everywhere.
Following a rookie campaign during which he contributed to such an attack, averaging 6.8 points (36% from deep) and 2.9 rebounds through 32 games (10 starts), Ellis hoped to continue helping the Vipers reach new plateaus this coming season as well.
The guard was one of just three returning players to attend training camp with the Rockets' minor league affiliate, but a surprising cut led to Ellis being the odd man out as the season began.
As fate would have it, however, the Coppin State product has landed on his feet after all. Ellis has recovered to sign with the NBL of Canada. Pending FIBA clearance, he'll join the Brampton A's. Ironically enough, he'll be reuniting with Paul Mokeski, the twelve year NBA veteran who served as Associate Head Coach for the Vipers during Ellis' rookie year. The two also worked out together in Canada this past offseason as the young gun prepared to make more noise in the D-League.
While his initial plan may not come to fruition, Ellis will nevertheless head to town knowing he already has a supporter in Mokeski, who is now in his first season as Associate Head Coach of Brampton as well.
Upon joining the A's, Ellis will be poised to play with and alongside former D-League guard Akeem Scott. The fellow New York native started this year off in the NBLC following a stint with the Bakersfield Jam last season.
Ellis and Scott both attended open tryouts for the Jam last fall in Atlanta, with each player advancing to the top-twenty cut during the final day of the session. While Ellis was drafted by RGV nearly a month later, Scott caught on with Bakersfield.
And now, they'll team up in Canada. Whereas Scott is more of an explosive scoring spark plug, Ellis is also a combo guard of sorts, who can push the tempo of an offense and find his teammates in transition, in addition to being able to knock down the long ball.