By Jimmy Carlton Sportswriter Published Jun 15, 2016 at 7:02 PM

Back in 2009, the Bucks had the 10th pick in the NBA Draft and they used it to select a 19-year-old named Brandon Jennings. Remember him?

Well, Henry Ellenson was 12 at that time, growing tall in tiny Rice Lake, north of Eau Claire. And during Jennings’ four-season tenure in Milwaukee, Ellenson, while becoming one of the country’s best basketball players, did what teenagers sometimes do: he made a couple bad decisions. No, not booze or drugs or girls or cow-tipping. Nothing like that.

Rather, he got two Brandon Jennings Bucks jerseys, one red and one green. The uniforms, he said Tuesday, hang in the closet in Ellenson’s bedroom, the walls of which are covered with Milwaukee posters – though he cheered for both his home-state team and the Minnesota Timberwolves as a kid.

Acquiring not one but two Brandon Jennings jerseys would seem to call into question Ellenson’s decision-making ability, even his basketball IQ – after all, few players are as lustily booed as Jennings, now with the Detroit Pistons, when he returns to the BMO Harris Bradley Center – but it’s important to remember the brash point guard was the face of the franchise back then, one of the only Bucks whose jersey was even available for purchase.

That’s certainly not the case these days, with rising stars Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and Khris Middleton making basketball matter again in Milwaukee and making the Bucks matter again in the NBA. There’s an abundance of team jerseys now and a variety of players – though, mercifully, no longer in red. Ownership changes, renewed excitement, promising young talent, optimism for (and hashtag ownership of) the future – plenty is different.

But, as in 2009, Milwaukee again holds the No. 10 overall pick in the Draft. It’s again coming off a (similarly) poor season – in 2008-09, the team had a record of 34-48; last year it went 33-49 – and hoping to find a late-lottery impact player.

If Bucks brass is to be believed, 19-year-old Henry Ellenson is that player. General manager John Hammond has said that if Ellenson were available at No. 10, he’d be happy to pick him, an unusual and seemingly anti-strategic betrayal of intentions heading into next week’s draft, especially for a front office that’s recently doubled down on proprietary information.

Of course, Ellenson would be a hugely popular choice, the hometown kid and hyper-talented prospect that he is. After a standout season at Marquette, where he averaged 17.0 points and 9.7 rebounds and won Big East Freshman of the Year, he’s been projected as a lottery pick for the past three months – though his draft stock has seemed to fall a bit the past couple of weeks.

So would Ellenson want to be play for the Bucks? 

"It’s nice to be back here in Milwaukee; it was a good day," he said after a workout at the team's practice facility in St. Francis. "It would be really sweet to be able to stay in-state and play in Wisconsin my whole career.

"That would be interesting to see draft night, that would be really neat. I'm a person that would like playing for the hometown team and would have fun with that."

No matter where he ends up, Ellenson won't need two Brandon Jennings Bucks jerseys. He probably doesn't even need one of them. He definitely doesn't need the red one. 

Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.

After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.

Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.