Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
One of the top players from the Lincoln Railsplitters has committed to college.
No, it isn’t Lance Stephenson.
It’s 5-foot-7 combo guard Darwin “Buddha” Ellis, who committed to St. Francis College of Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. on Saturday.
“I love the court,” Ellis, a Sheepshead Bay resident, told FiveBoroSports.com. “It’s easy to shoot on. I feel like I’m at home already.”
Ellis could be back on the St. Francis court yet again should Lincoln advance to Sunday’s Brooklyn Borough Championship. The Railsplitters are the No. 1 seed.
Ellis is averaging eight points and six assists and has helped lead Lincoln to two PSAL city championships and two New York State Federation AA crowns. He will replace 5-8 Bronx native Jamaal Womack of Our Saviour Lutheran High School, who graduates.
“He’s a very good get for them. Obviously, the more they extend the court offensively and defensively, the more of an impact he will have,” recruiting expert Tom Konchalski said by phone. “He and [Hofstra-bound guard] Chazz Williams together are the quickest guards in New York City.”
Ellis has battled a pinky injury and personal tragedy this year and is only now rounding in to form for the Railsplitters.
“He had a fractured pinky and also his grandmother with whom he lived passed away so I don’t think he’s had the kind of year that people thought he would have,” Konchalski said. “He’s played better of late but he hasn’t shot the ball quite as well.”
Konchalski said the more up-tempo the Terriers play, the better it will be for Ellis.
“If they play a 94-foot game, he can be an impact player in the NEC,” Konchalski said. “He’s quicker than a hiccup and he plays hard. He’s a tough kid and he’s very high energy. He’s got to learn to play at different speeds. When he’s in stroke he’s capable of knocking down 3’s. He exerts a lot of pressure on the ball. He’s going to be more effective in a fullcourt game.
“If they play a lot of halfcourt basketball I don’t think he’ll be quite the player he could be.”
(Photo courtesy Philip Hall, FiveBoroSports.com)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.