LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell head men’s basketball coach Nathan Davis has announced that Walter Ellis and Kahliel Spear have inked National Letters of Intent and will be joining the Bison men’s basketball team in 2018-19. Ellis, Spear, and Andrew Funk, who committed during the early signing period in November, will comprise Bucknell’s first-year class next fall.
Ellis is a 6’5” forward from Granger, Ind. He currently attends Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., which features one of the top New England prep school basketball programs, after spending three years at Adams High School in South Bend, Ind. Spear is a 6’7” forward from The Colony (Texas) High School.
“We are very excited about the addition of Kahliel and Walter to our team,” said Davis. “Along with Andrew Funk, who signed in the fall, we are adding three very good basketball players who come from great families and will be tremendous additions on the floor, in the locker room, and on the Bucknell campus.”
Ellis was a First Team All-Northern Indiana Conference selection and a member of the Indiana Junior All-Star Team as a junior after averaging 19 points per game and leading Adams to a sectional championship. After transferring to Brewster Academy this past season, Ellis was part of a team that went 23-5 and captured the NEPSAC AAA regular-season championship.
Ellis, who also played AAU ball for the G3 Grind, shot better than 42% from 3-point range during his senior season. He is the son of Jennifer and LaPhonso Ellis and is the youngest of four siblings. LaPhonso played basketball at Notre Dame and then for 11 years in the NBA.
“Walter is a wing with good size who can score and can defend,” said Davis. “He has played basketball at a very high level, and he has the size and athleticism to be a tremendous defensive player. He shoots the ball very well with deep range, and he is a guy who will continue to develop throughout his college career.”
Spear was team captain at The Colony H.S., where he was a First Team All-District and First Team Academic All-State selection. This past season he led his team to a 24-10 record and a postseason berth. Spear was named to three different all-tournament teams and was also selected to play in a senior all-star game after averaging 15 points, seven rebounds and two assists per game. As a junior, he had a streak of 10 straight double-doubles.
Spear played his AAU basketball for Lonestar Elite. He is the son of Danita and LeRonne Spear, and he has two younger siblings. His cousin, Nia Coffey, currently plays for the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces after a standout collegiate career at Northwestern.
“Kahliel is an athletic frontcourt player who has a very good feel for the game,” said Davis. “He has loads of potential to develop into a do-it-all kind of player who can excel at multiple spots on the floor.”
Ellis, Spear and Funk will be joining a Bucknell program that has captured four straight Patriot League regular-season titles, two straight Patriot League Tournament titles, and has made two straight NCAA Tournament appearances. The Bison finished 25-10 in 2017-18. They defeated Colgate 83-54 in the Patriot League championship game before falling to Michigan State, 82-78, in the NCAA Tournament first round.