Perry Ellis, left, won four state titles at Wichita Heights High before he came to Kansas. Devonte Graham, right, was a prep star at Brewster (N.H.) Academy before making his way to Lawrence. File photos
Perry Ellis, left, won four state titles at Wichita Heights High before he came to Kansas. Devonte Graham, right, was a prep star at Brewster (N.H.) Academy before making his way to Lawrence. File photos

Jayhawk Dispatch

Jesse Newell of The Wichita Eagle and The Kansas City Star takes you inside Kansas sports.

Jayhawk Dispatch

Before they were Jayhawks: Elite Eight edition

March 26, 2016 07:14 PM

UPDATED March 26, 2016 07:23 PM

Before they made their way to college stardom at the University of Kansas, it’s good to remember that just a few years ago these were all just kids with a dream of playing big-time hoops.

It’s not hard to see, even back then, that they were well on their way.

Here’s a look at the Kansas starting five ... before they were Jayhawks.

Perry Ellis/Wichita Heights High

Never miss a local story.

Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access.

This one should look really familiar ... Wessel to Ellis over and over again. Thanks to Todd Wessel for posting these old-school clips. Crazy to see the connection they had. Three Class 6A state titles was the final proof they were one of, if not the greatest, high-school duo to ever lace it up in Kansas.

Wayne Selden/The Tilton School (N.H.)

The title of this one doesn’t exagerrate. That really is a baptism. What struck me about this clip was how Selden already looks like a grown man. What we’re seeing right now is his game catching up to his physicality and it’s pretty amazing to watch.

Devonte Graham/Brewster (N.H.) Academy

The baby face. The smile. There was no way he was ever going to step on the court at Appalachian State.

Landen Lucas/Westview (Ore.) High

OK, I know he’s a foot taller than everyone else on the court. Unlike some of his cohorts, didn’t finish at a prep school ... took a detour to Findlay Prep in Vegas then went back to finish at home in the Pacific Northwest.

Also, poor number 30.

Frank Mason/Massanutten Military Academy

Did they cast The Flash yet for the new ‘Justice League’ movies? Because Mason should get careful consideration. If you blink you will miss this blur of a human being zooming around the court.

Also ... “It’s too easy.” That’s young-man swag right there.

Oh yeah, don’t forget about these guys. The orirginal “Before They Were” crew.

Tony Adame: 316-268-6284, @t_adame