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Marian Catholic point guard Tyler Ulis committed to Kentucky Friday. | Sun-Times Media Library

One year ago at this time 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, convincing the state 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 complete 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 as he announced 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," Ulis said. "I really don't even worry about stuff like that anymore, honestly. I'm used to proving myself."

Ulis is ranked 29th in the nation by Scout. The Spartans return their entire starting lineup from a team that lost in the supersectional last season, so they are expected to be among the top five teams in the state this coming season.

Tyler Ulis highlight reel

Photo Gallery: Tyler Ulis

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