Ellis, Havili named KU’s Big 12 ‘Athlete of the Year’ nominees

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) is guarded by Maryland forward Michal Cekovsky (15) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the regional semifinals of the men's NCAA Tournament in Louisville, Ky., Thursday, March 24, 2016. (AP Photo/John Flavell)

Courtesy: KU Athletics

IRVING, Texas – Perry Ellis (basketball) and Ainise Havili (volleyball) have been named the University of Kansas’ respective male and female nominees for the 2015-16 Big 12 Athlete of the Year, the conference announced Monday.

Big 12 Athlete of the Year candidates will be highlighted each day through July 17. Fans will then be able to vote for their male and female choices from July 21-24. Fan voting will be considered in the final tally for selecting this prestigious award.

Havili, a sophomore during the 2015-16 season, was one of the keystones to Kansas volleyball’s unprecedented season, helping guide the Jayhawks to a 30-3 record, No. 4 national ranking, and first-ever appearance in the NCAA Championship semifinals. The Fort Worth, Texas native set the tone for a dynamic offense that ranked second in the nation in kills per set (15.1) and fourth in hitting percentage (.299) during the 2015 season.

Havili’s 2015 honors include AVCA All-America First Team, Big 12 Setter of the Year, and NCAA Championship San Diego Regional MVP. This summer she recently competed with the USA Volleyball Collegiate National Team during a tour of China.

Ellis led Kansas in scoring at 16.9 points per game and was second on the team with 5.8 rebounds per game while guiding the Jayhawks to a 33-5 record, 12th-straight Big 12 regular season title, Big 12 tournament title, a No. 1 ranking in the final Associated Press Poll, and an NCAA Elite Eight appearance.

Ellis’ 2015-16 honors include consensus All-America Second Team, unanimous All-Big 12 First Team, Big 12 Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and a finalist for the Karl Malone and Senior CLASS awards. Ellis is currently competing for the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA Summer League Team in Las Vegas.

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