LeRon Ellis, formerly a standout basketball player at Santa Ana Mater Dei High School, announced Monday that he will transfer to Syracuse from the University of Kentucky.
Since leaving Kentucky May 22 in the wake of National Collegiate Athletic Assn. sanctions against the school, Ellis considered Syracuse, UCLA and Nevada Las Vegas.
After visiting UCLA earlier this month, Ellis narrowed his choices to UCLA and Syracuse, where his friend and former teammate Mike Hopkins plays.
Ellis said Monday at Mater Dei that he picked Syracuse for the same reason he left Kentucky--he wants a shot at winning an NCAA title.
Ellis, a 6-foot-10 junior center who led Mater Dei to two Southern Section 5-A championships and one state title, will be eligible to play for Syracuse immediately.
He joins a veteran team that includes senior forward Derrick Coleman, Billy Owens, who was one of the finest freshmen in the nation last season, and Stephen Thompson, a guard from Crenshaw High.
Syracuse was 30-8 and reached the Midwest Regional championship game before losing to Illinois last season.