Former Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis was celebrated at Lanier High School, his alma mater, on Thursday. Ellis starred at Lanier from 2002-2005 before declaring for the NBA Draft and became one of the last players to be drafted directly out of high school when the Warriors selected him with the 40th overall pick in the 2005 draft.
During his career at Lanier, the team went 129-16, won two state titles, and finished as the state 4A runner-up in the other two seasons. Ellis averaged 28.9 points, 4.9 assists, and 3.1 steals per game. Most impressive of all, Ellis averaged 38.4 points per game during his senior year, carried Lanier to the 4A state championship, and was named Mr. Basketball. He amassed 4,167 points during his high school career and finished as the second-highest all-time leading scorer in Mississippi prep basketball history.
While Ellis has not formally retired, he has not played in the NBA since 2017. He averaged 17.8 points per game over his 12-year NBA career, including four seasons (all with the Warriors), where he averaged north of 20 points per game. Ellis was a key contributor on the “We Believe” Warriors in the 2006-07 season and became the biggest star on the roster before he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks with Ekpe Udoh for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson in 2012.
Once Ellis left Golden State, he never approached the same levels of production. Still, he remained a consistent offensive spark for the remainder of his career with the Bucks, Dallas Mavericks, and Indiana Pacers. In his final NBA season, Ellis averaged 27 minutes across 74 games with the Pacers, scoring 8.5 points on .443/.319/.727 shooting.