Jamarcus Ellis, a legendary Westinghouse high school basketball player who went on to play for Indiana University, tragically passed away at the age of 38 due to injuries sustained in a car crash. The incident occurred on October 27, 2023, when Ellis lost control of his vehicle and collided with a viaduct pillar on South Western Avenue in Chicago.
After the accident, Ellis was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital but was pronounced dead later on. Authorities began investigating the incident through the Major Accident Investigation Unit.
Following the news of Ellis’ untimely death, the community expressed immense sorrow and paid tribute to the basketball legend. He was known as “Tone-Tone” in Chicago and “Tom-Tom” among his close friends. Quitman Dillard, his coach at Westinghouse, described Ellis as a son and shared that Ellis would reach out to him every Father’s Day, highlighting their deep bond. Dillard spoke fondly of Ellis, emphasizing his caring nature and selflessness.
Ellis had an impressive basketball career, playing for Westinghouse High School and leading them to a city title during his senior year. He continued his athletic journey by playing at a junior college before joining Indiana University in 2007. Ellis also played at Oklahoma City University during his senior year of college. Deandre Thomas, a longtime friend and former teammate, regarded Ellis as his LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, considering him to be even better than those basketball icons. Thomas expressed his deep admiration for Ellis and reminisced about their shared experiences.
Numerous others took to social media to honor Ellis and express their grief. One fan who had a brief acquaintance with Ellis acknowledged his significant influence, stating that Ellis was a real-life hero who inspired every kid on North Avenue to pursue basketball. Another friend wrote a heartfelt tribute, mourning Ellis’ loss and thanking him for allowing them to be part of his journey.
Jamarcus Ellis leaves behind three sons and had endured the loss of his parents at a young age. Despite being recognized as one of the most talented basketball players in the country, Ellis never had the opportunity to play professionally.
In conclusion, the passing of Jamarcus Ellis, a basketball legend from Westinghouse high school, has deeply saddened the community. His impact on the basketball world and the lives of those who knew him will forever be remembered.