Big Day for AIC
American International College earned a pair of commitments on Monday from two players who are plenty familiar with each other.
Jason Perrier, a six-foot-three guard from Christian Heritage School, and Mark Ellis, a six-foot-six power forward from Stamford High School, both pledged to head coach Art Luptowski on Monday.
Perrier and Ellis have starred together on the AAU circuit since last summer, running with the Connecticut Elite program.
“It was basically something we did together,” Perrier said. “Last summer we all felt like family so we thought we might as well stick together.”
“Ever since we’ve known that the school was interested in both of us we’ve been talking about it,” Ellis said. “We play so well together so we thought this would be the best fit for both of us.”
Perrier and Ellis visited AIC’s Springfield campus together on Thursday and Friday of last week and took the weekend to consider their decision.
Perrier had previously committed to Assumpton, another Northeast 10 Conference school, earlier in the fall before opting to re-open his recruitment.
“The recruiting process was long,” Perrier said. “AIC was just a good fit. When we went to take the visit I enjoyed being around the players and the coaches and they had my major of criminal justice.”
For Ellis as well, the visit helped to address his academic goals..
“I saw a lot of things that I liked beyond just the basketball program,” he said. “The resource center was really nice and I got a chance to know the team well, so I decided to pull the trigger.”
As a duo, Ellis and Perrier form an intriguing one-two punch as Perrier has seen his game improve by leaps and bounds within the last year while Ellis is a phenomenal athlete whose best basketball is still in front of him.
“It just came with hard work,” Perrier said of his recent development. “It was me having the opportunity to work with [former Quinnipiac head] Coach [Joe] DeSantis and my coaches always being around to open the gym for me to get up some extra shots. “
The result is a player who is still able to overpower many opposing guards but is now better suited to knock down the mid-range jumper, be a more consistent threat at the three-point line, and even handle the ball more as a combo-guard as opposed to purely a two-guard.
For Ellis, he is confident that Coach Luptowski and assistant Andy Burkholder will be able to help get the best out of him.
“Coach was telling me that I have a lot of upside and that he can make me an even better player by showing me how to use my athleticism to play good team basketball,” he said. “He doesn’t limit his big men so we’re going to change my game around during the course of the season and make me the best player possible.”
Perrier and Ellis join fellow New England product David Campbell of Madison Park High School in the Yellow Jackets 2010 recruiting class.