Mario Ellie is a native of Manhattan and attended Power Memorial Academy. At Power he was cut from the freshman team and made JV in his sophomore. Then he played varsity and was a teammate of Chris Mullin. Mullin transferred to Xaverian after his Sophomore season and played a key role in his last two seasons and was looked at a few division one schools.
After graduating from Power Memorial Ellie he choose American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts a Division II program. Elie played at AIC from 1981 to 1985, finished his collegiate career as the school’s all-time leading scorer and is still second on that list. He’s also second in steals (190), sixth in rebounding (1,001) and eighth in assists (332).
During his senior year in 1985, he led AIC to the NCAA Division 2 Elite Eight, marking the first time the Yellow Jackets, or any other Northeast-10 school had made it that far in tournament play.
After being drafted in the seventh round by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1985, Elie played in Portugal, Argentina, Ireland, the USBL, the WBL and the CBA within a four year span.
Ellie perseverance paid off when he made his NBA debut with the Philadelphia 76ers in December 1990. Then in 1991 he played for the Golden State Warriors, in 1992 thebPortland Trailblazers, and became a factor of the Houston Rockets in their title run in 1994 and 1995. Then played in San Antonio for two seasons and was a member of the 1999 NBA Championship team. The finish his career in Phoenix with the Suns.
Ellie was a player known for his defense and toughness. Also made key shots when needed and enjoyed a successful NBA playing career averaging 8.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 732 regular season games. He spend 13 years as an Assistant Coach in San Antonio, Golden State, Dallas, Sacramento, New Jersey, and Orlando.
In 2005 Mario Ellie was inducted into AIC Hall of Fame and his basketball jersey is retired at the school. In 2007 he was named to the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. Mario Ellie is nominated as one of the top ten players in Houston Rockets history.