Boogie Ellis and Bronny James were both important players on the USC basketball team last season, and Ellis ended up having a much better year. He averaged 13 PPG while James averaged just 4.8. It was an underwhelming year for James, but it ended up being a solid one for Ellis, who was one of the best players on the Trojans. However, James ended up getting drafted in the second round of the NBA Draft, and Ellis went undrafted.

It’s not uncommon to see players who didn’t have as good of a college career as others get drafted first. For example, there are some styles of play that don’t translate to the NBA that well, but they work in college. However, that isn’t the case here. Ellis was a scorer for USC basketball, he is athletic and he can shoot the deep ball. Being the son of LeBron James more than likely helped out Bronny James a lot here.

Ellis obviously wanted to be drafted and he didn’t get the opportunity. He had a much better season, but he still had to see James get drafted while he never heard his name called. Still, there is no bad blood there and Ellis is happy to see James get this opportunity.

I’m happy for him,” Ellis said, according to an article from The Sacramento Bee. “That’s one of my brothers, so I’m glad he got the opportunity, but at the end of the day this is business. Everybody’s trying to feed their family, so I definitely have a chip on my shoulder. I believe I’m a great basketball player and I’m better than a lot the guys who were picked, but at the end of the day I’ve got to go show my hard work, show what I do. So just continue to work, keep my head down and keep working, and it’s going to pay off.”

Southern California Trojans forward Kijani Wright (left), guard Boogie Ellis (center) and guard Bronny James (6) react against the Arizona Wildcats in the second half at T-Mobile Arena.
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Boogie Ellis is playing well in NBA Summer League

Boogie Ellis is now playing in the NBA Summer League with the Sacramento Kings, and he is trying to prove that he belongs. So far, he is doing a good job of that. He came off the bench on Sunday and scored 17 points. Ellis is looking good so far, and Kings summer league coach Doug Christie has liked what he has seen.

“He’s really impressed me,” Doug Christie said. “I thought the energy changed when he came in the game. It wasn’t that the energy was bad, it just wasn’t Boogie energy. When he comes in the game, everything changes. His ability to pick up and keep his guy in front of him, he’s fearless, crashing the boards. I’m loving the fact that he’s not afraid to shoot the basketball and he’s not pump faking. He’s already thinking shot. And he’s just a good teammate. It’s a pleasure to coach him. He brought the energy tonight and we really needed it.”

Ellis is playing with a chip on his shoulder like he said, and things are going well for him so far. He has to earn his keep, and he knows that.