In the days leading up to last weekend’s Shelbyville High School basketball showcase, it didn’t look like Lyon County star Travis Perry would even see the pitch.
The 6-legged guard suffered an ankle injury so severe that – after watching him go through the first part of the open-air gym on Friday – his father, Lyon County coach Ryan Perry, told him to remove his brace and to get the movie. from his ankles, because he was not playing. “It looked bad,” Dad told the Herald-Leader on Tuesday.
But the teenager had his heart set on arriving at the stadium for the Summer Shootout Titans-Rockets, which started the next day. Relatively new changes to the NCAA recruitment calendar set June as a time for players to spend time in high school, moving away from the AAU / grassroots program, but allowing college coaches to see them in person.
And several of those coaches had told Perry that they were planning a trip to Shelbyville to check on him. In fact, he had told a coach shortly before Friday’s open-air gym that he would indeed play and he wanted to keep his word.
“He really likes it,” Ryan Perry said of the opportunity to play in front of college coaches. “He wants to be the best and he likes it when people are there watching him play. Somehow it thrives on it, and enjoyed it a lot this weekend.
“There were a lot of coaches out there who either offered or had high interest contact with him. So, it always excites you when the coaches show up and do everything to make sure they are there and give you priority. “And Travis respects and recognizes all of that, which is why he likes to play in front of these kids.”
Those who showed up were definitely impressed.
Perry led Lyon County to a 3-1 record in both days of the game, scoring 42 points — with 10 three-pointers — in one game and 36 points in the team’s only defeat, a 63-62 loss to Indianapolis Cathedral. the sovereign state. champions from Indiana.
Scholarship offers have flooded in.
Just last week, Perry received new offers from Purdue, Nebraska, Iowa, Cincinnati, Missouri and Wake Forest. These were added to a list of offers that already included West Kentucky, Mississippi and Creighton.
This past weekend also marked a major turning point in Perry’s recruitment.
John Calipari attended Sunday to see Cathedral Specialist Xavier Booker, a star power forward in the 2023 category, who just last week climbed to No. 2 in the overall standings of Rivals.com. Having the opportunity to play in front of the United Kingdom coach, Perry – who was ranked No. 66 nationally by Rivals.com for the 2024 category – clearly left a lasting impression.
Ryan Perry said Tuesday morning that Calipari had been in contact with both him and his son “enough” over the past 24 hours and things were moving so fast that Perry planned to travel from western Kentucky to Lexington. this weekend. can sit face to face with the UK coach and do a recruitment tour on campus.
Both Travis Perry’s parents are UK graduates and fans of the Wildcats basketball program, according to his father, who said Travis took a meticulous approach to recruitment, trying to find out about every school and coach he expands. a scholarship offer.
“It was all intense,” said Ryan Perry. “It simply came to our notice then. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for Travis. “And we’re just trying to help him navigate all that.”
Champion in Kentucky?
For Kentucky high school basketball fans, Perry’s name is not new.
He broke into the state preparation scene as a seventh grader, averaging 20.6 points per game that year. It has not slowed down, collecting 3,189 career points so far and last season led Lyon to their first appearance in Sweet Sixteen after 71 years.
As long as he stays healthy, Perry is ready to break “King” Kelly Coleman’s state record with 4,337 career points, a mark that has remained since 1956.
Ryan Perry says his son is constantly being asked if he could break that record. On many occasions, he heard Travis respond: “I’m just trying to get one more point than the other team, because I have to go home with my dad. “And this is the coach and I do not want to hear him complain all the way.”
Elder Perry conveys this answer with a big laugh, but says his son’s nature is linked to winning basketball.
“I do not think you understand what all Travis is doing for you on the pitch until you get him off the pitch,” said his coach / father. “You do not understand how much he generally does on the floor. He does a lot of training on the field for us. He is a player with a high IQ. He wants to win as badly as anyone I have ever seen. In everything he does – but especially in basketball.
“But he is also a very dynamic player. When you watch him walk to the gym, you will not think about it. If he has to try to take over a game – and score and score – he can do it. Or if the types have mismatches, he is smart enough to know how to isolate these types. “He is a good player to have in your team.”
In recent months, he has focused on becoming a better defender and was one of the top steals during the Adidas race this spring. Perry works for his foot speed, his lateral speed, his ability to jump. He is already trying to be in excellent physical condition.
“He really, really works hard for his body to try to prepare it when he goes to college, so he can have an immediate impact,” said his father.
And, as a scorer, Perry is still working on his shot. Very. As a sophomore, he achieved a clip 38 percent of the three-point range, scoring 116 three-pointers in 36 games. During the Adidas League race this spring, he shoots better than 40 percent from deep.
The Perrys have a home field with a sniper rifle and Ryan Perry says his son will head straight in and shoot, even after being delayed by other basketball activities.
All the extra work obviously pays off. In addition to new scholarship offers and growing interest from Kentucky, he is receiving calls from other major schools, including Michigan, which began contact Monday night after coach Juwan Howard saw Perry play over the weekend.
“The last two days have been crazy,” said Ryan Perry.
On Monday, father and son tried to get away from everything after a busy weekend with a round of golf. The coaches of the college did not stop buzzing.
“He was calling almost all the way around,” Dad said. “It heats up a lot, but that’s good.”
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