Nov 7, 2012, 12:44 PM EST
LaPhonso Ellis graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1992 as the fifth overall NBA draft pick in that same year. During his time at Notre Dame, he was one of four captains as a senior, and had a strong career leading the men’s basketball team to the NCAA Tournament during both his freshman and sophomore years.
LaPhonso was originally drafted by the Denver Nuggets, but also played for the Atlanta Hawks, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Miami Heat. He retired from the NBA in 2003 and began a career in sports television and radio as a basketball commentator at Notre Dame. LaPhonso currently works as an ESPN analyst for college basketball, and still calls some games for the Fighting Irish (he was commentating with Jack Nolan during last week’s exhibition game against Quincy).
LaPhonso Ellis is interested in more than just basketball though. He now owns his own franchise, called Blended Blessings LLC, which has developed a relationship with Jamba Juice. Because LaPhonso was a professional athlete, eating healthy was a large part of his lifestyle and subsequent success. As a result, he is responsible for the opening of two Jamba Juice locations in South Bend, one location on Eddy Street, a very popular Notre Dame student destination, and one location in Mishawaka’s University Park Mall. Almost no one in South Bend, or even many students from other places up North, had ever heard of Jamba Juice before its arrival at Notre Dame, but the smoothies have been a huge hit! LaPhonso was excited to bring Jamba Juice to Notre Dame in order to help promote fitness and good nutrition to his alma mater.
I had seen LaPhonso visiting and working in Jamba Juice before, but I had never quite recognized him until I delivered stats to him during the game against Quincy. Before I knew exactly who he was, I had had the wonderful opportunity to chat with him in Jamba Juice the week before when he had arrived back in town to visit his South Bend Jamba Juice locations.
There were only two people in the store at the time, myself and a friend of mine who wanted a post-workout Jamba Juice smoothie for lunch. LaPhonso immediately struck up a casual conversation while taking our orders, and shortly after, found out that we were Notre Dame students. After personally delivering our drinks to us, LaPhonso then joined us at our table and just began to chat with us about being ND students and how/why we liked to come to Jamba Juice.
He is one of the most personable people I have ever met, and if I didn’t like Jamba Juice enough already (I go at least once a week at this point after some of my workouts), I love it even more now that I know that such a great Notre Dame alum is responsible for bringing Jamba Juice to South Bend.
If you have never tried a Jamba Juice smoothie before, I would highly recommend giving one a taste after your next workout…or even just as a healthy afternoon snack. The Caribbean Passion classic smoothie is by far my favorite! Maybe you’ll even get lucky when you stop by and run into LaPhonso there too.
About In The Paint
Women’s Basketball on YouTube
Notre Dame Women's Basketball Defeat French All-Stars in Madrid
Length: 1:54 | August 12, 2013
Kayla McBride Talks About The 75-57 Win - Women's Basketball
Length: 1:14 | August 12, 2013
Notre Dame Women's Basketball Defeat French All-Stars in Barcelona
Length: 1:28 | August 12, 2013
Skylar Diggins Look Back - Notre Dame Women's Basketball
Length: 4:20 | May 2, 2013
- .@IrishCoachIvey shoots! Shot for a trip for a little girl..just missed wide right. #fun #timeToGetready4BB http://t.co/gWO6PM06Wo 10 hours ago
- .@alouise44 getting her famous on at @nd_hockey @IrishCoachIvey up next shooting the puck #notkidding http://t.co/vpFEGG7Tsa 10 hours ago
- Throwing out shirts 2nite at @nd_hockey vs UMass. great crowd not enough lime ;) ND up 3-1 #ndwbb #NDfamily http://t.co/WRA0fqZkYx 11 hours ago
- RT @jloyd32: Let's gooooooo!!' http://t.co/hYVPY4rIMp 13 hours ago
- Support the #NDFamily Saturday- @ndwbb v. UCLA at NOON! @ndmbb at 4pm, @NDMenSoccer at 7pm (free w/ bball tix stub)!@ndhockey at 6:35pm!🍀🍀🍀 17 hours ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
Meet The Freshmen, Demetrius Jackson - Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Length: 1:08 | August 1, 2013
Meet The Freshmen, V.J. Beachem - Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Length: 1:13 | July 30, 2013
Meet The Freshmen, Steve Vasturia - Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Length: 1:06 | July 25, 2013
Meet The Freshmen, Austin Torres - Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Length: 1:13 | July 23, 2013
- .@NDMikeBrey set to take on a familiar friend as the Delaware Blue Hens come to town: tinyurl.com/k3d727x 15 hours ago
- IRISH ALUMNI - Monty Williams - @Hornets Head Coach - #Legacy #LifeAfterCollege #Irish #NotreDame #Hoops instagram.com/p/hl35peQia_/ 17 hours ago
- RT @FightingIrish: Still time to tune in to the @NDMikeBrey Radio Show bit.ly/1d0r1bw instagram.com/p/hj3s1TyKnE/ 1 day ago
- "He handles his business like a Junior or a Senior"- @NDMikeBrey on Steve Vasturia @steph_en_ #StudentAthleteIrish 1 day ago
- RT @FightingIrish: .@NDMikeBrey and @NDJackNolan with special Radio Show guest Steve Vasturia! instagram.com/p/hj2ZHZyKlJ/ 1 day ago
- M. Ice Hockey. Irish Use Three Power-Play Goals To Defeat Massachusetts 5-3
- W. Swimming. Irish Impress On Day One Of Hawkeye Invitational
- M. Swimming. Irish Set Three Records, Hold Lead After Day One Of Hawkeye Invitational
- Track. Notre Dame Starts the Season Strong At Blue & Gold Invitational
- W. Basketball. #4/5 Irish Back Home For Saturday Matinee Against UCLA