PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- His father was a national champion at the collegiate level. He won Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four. He was a No. 1 overall pick who played 11 seasons in the NBA.
But today Malik Ellison's father, Pervis, is his adversary. Lined up on the opposite sideline, the elder Ellison, 47, is coaching against his son at the Reebok Breakout Classic in Philadelphia, Pa., on Thursday.
Ellison, a three-star 2015 guard according to Rivals.com who holds a Maryland offer, scored nine points on 3-of-6 shooting Thursday morning in a 66-53 loss to his father's team.
Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon was in the stands along with a vast collection of other high-major Division I coaches, watching Ellison and others including five-star center Diamond Stone.
Turgeon and Maryland's staff, including assistants Bino Ranson and Dustin Clark, have been in consistent contact with Ellison, the rising senior told Comcast SportsNet on Thursday, as his recruitment progresses.
"They're just telling me that their offense, they try to do a lot of guard-oriented stuff," he said. "And, you know, I'm a big guard. They just tell me I could fit in well there as a two-guard, maybe a three. Depends on how tall I grow."
Ellison is listed at 6-6, an athletic guard who likes to get out on the break and finish in transition. He had one of the major highlights of Thursday's first set of games when he chased down a player from behind and blocked his shot.
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What's the recruiting connection? Two major factors link Ellison to Maryland:
1) His sister, Aja, was a highly regarded high school recruit who is beginning her freshman season at Maryland under head coach Brenda Frese in 2014-15. During her recruitment, Ellison told CSN, he was able to become familiar with the school in a limited capacity.
"Guys and girls programs, they're different," Ellison said. "But I met a lot of the guys coaches every time I went up there, even if I just saw my sister, I still met them."
2) While playing for his father at Life Center Academy (N.J.), Ellison was teammates this past season with incoming freshman center Trayvon Reed. The 7-1 native of Georgia transferred to Life Center for his senior season and played under the tutelage of the elder Ellison for one year.
Malik says Reed has made the Maryland recruiting pitch to him.
"Of course he wants me to, you know, join him," Ellison said with a smile. "Because I feel like we could be a great duo, but again I'm just trying to explore my options so I don't know."
Ellison maintains that his recruitment remains open for now and he plans on picking up more offers as he moves through the live period this July. After that, he says he will begin the process of narrowing his list.
"I had a good experience up there [at Maryland]," he said before returning to his refrain.
"But again I'm just trying to explore all my options."