Former St. John’s star big man LeRoy Ellis dies at age 72

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LeRoy Ellis, the second-leading scorer in St. John’s history, died Saturday at the age of 72 after a long battle with cancer.

A New York native, the 6-10 Ellis averaged 23.5 points per game in his career with St. John’s, before being selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the sixth pick in the 1962 NBA Draft.

He was later selected by the Portland Trailblazers in the 1970 NBA Expansion Draft, becoming a member of the franchise’s inaugural team.

“LeRoy Ellis was a very important member of the first Trail Blazers team and was a very high-class individual,” Trail Blazers Founder and President Emeritus Harry Glickman said in a statement. “We extend our deepest sympathy to his family.”

The Ellis family has roots in college basketball, as three of LeRoy’s children went on to play at the collegiate level.

His daughter, Lisa, played basketball at California State, Long Beach and also at Kentucky over the course of her career.

LeRoy Jr., his eldest son, played at Pacific and was also part of 1990 Division II national champion Kentucky Wesleyan.

His younger son, LeRon, played college basketball at Kentucky and Syracuse, before being selected with the 22nd pick in the 1991 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. He went on to play three seasons in the NBA.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Tennessee G Hubbs undergoes arthroscopic knee surgery

Robert Hubbs III, Anton Beard
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee guard Robert Hubbs won’t practice this week after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Tuesday.

The school said in a news release that Hubbs had it done “to address chronic swelling issues that have been present since the preseason.”

No timetable has been set for when Hubbs could return to action, but he is considered doubtful for Tennessee’s next game on Dec. 12 at Butler. Tennessee (4-3) is in the midst of a 13-day break from games, which marks the program’s longest layoff during a season since December 1967.

Hubbs is averaging 15.3 points per game to rank third on the team. The 6-foot-4 junior has scored at least 13 points in each of Tennessee’s seven games.

Clemson lands 2017 guard

Brad Brownell
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Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.

The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.

Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.