Marian Catholic’s Tyler Ulis picks Kentucky
BY MICHAEL O’BRIEN Staff Reporter September 13, 2013 10:15PM
Marian Catholic's Tyler Ulis (3) gets a shot blocked by Edwardsville's Shawn Roundtree (24) and Drew Curtis (11) during their supersectional basketball game at Redbird Arena in Normal, IL Tuesday, March 12, 2013. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 14, 2013 5:38PM
One year ago, Tyler Ulis was merely a local treasure. South suburban basketball fans knew he was a special player, but many in Chicago weren’t convinced and nationally Ulis was a total unknown.
So a night like this didn’t seem to be in the cards. Then Ulis turned in a spectacular junior season, proving that he was one of the nation’s elite guards.
Over the spring and summer, the rest of the country jumped on the bandwagon, and Ulis’ coronation was completed when John Calipari and Kentucky offered the 5-9 point guard a scholarship.
Ulis returned the favor Friday in a ceremony shortly before Marian Catholic’s football game in Chicago Heights, announcing his commitment to Kentucky live on High School Cube. He chose the Wildcats over Michigan State and Iowa.
“Everything changed when Kentucky offered,” Ulis said. “That’s just where my heart was. If they hadn’t have come into the picture, I might have ended up at Iowa.”
He becomes the shortest player to receive a scholarship in Kentucky basketball history.
“That’s the first I’ve heard that I’m the shortest one,” said Ulis, who is ranked 29th in the nation by Scout. “I really don’t even worry about stuff like that anymore, honestly. I’m used to proving myself.”
The Spartans return their entire starting lineup from a team that lost in the supersectional last year, so they are expected to be among the top five teams in the state this season.