Tyrone Ellis is a former professional player from Dallas, Texas that currently is head coach of D-League team Northern Arizona Suns. As a player he had a stellar career in Europe showing that a player can make a career coming from a NAIA school from Southern Nazarene playing in countries like Germany, Italy, Turkey and Spain. In 2004 he helped the Opel Skyliners win the BBL league title. He played for three Spanish teams Girona, Cajasol Sevilla and Asefa Estudiantes Madrid playing six seasons in the best league in Europe. He also played for teams like Eldo Basket Napoli and Besiktas ColaTurka Istanbul . He retired in 2012 and went into coaching being an assistant for D-League teams Tulsa, Reno, Grand Rapids and Bakersfield. He spoke to German Hoops about the death of former teammate Chris Williams and coaching the Northern Arizona Suns.
Ty thanks for talking to German Hoops! Where are you at the moment and how is your basketball life treating you at the moment?
No problem Miles, my pleasure. I’m currently on the road trying to finish up the season strong.
Before we talk about your coaching career, we have to talk about your ex teammate and friend Chris Williams who passed away recently. How did you hear about it and what was your first thought?
Our friend, Marlon Garnett, sent me a text after my game around midnight. Marlon played with Chris in Iran. I was confused, hurt, and in disbelief. I am still mourning my friend’s death. I don’t want to believe he is gone.Chris Williams was 36 years old and just suddenly past away due to blood clotting. Did you have any more contact to him the last years? When you remember having your last conversation with him?
Yes, Chris and I kept in touch. He was the best man in my wedding. The last conversation I had with Chris was when I got this job. He called to congratulate me and tell me how proud of me he is.