He could be Kentucky’s all-time leading scorer. And now John Calipari is calling.


In the days leading up to the Shelbyville High School showcase last weekend, it didn’t look like County Lyon star Travis Perry would even see the pitch.

The 6ft 2in guard has been hampered by an ankle injury so severe that – after watching him walk through the first part of the open gymnasium on Friday – his father, Lyon County head coach Ryan Perry, left him Said to take his brace off and take the tape off his ankles, because he wasn’t playing. “He looked bad,” Dad told the Herald-Leader on Tuesday.

But the teenager was keen to hit the field for the Titans-Rockets Summer Shootout, which began the following day. Relatively new changes to the NCAA recruiting schedule designate June as a time players can spend with their high schools, moving them away from the AAU/base schedule but still allowing college coaches to see them in person .

And several of those coaches had told Perry that they planned to make the trip to Shelbyville to check it out. In fact, he had told a trainer just before Friday’s open gym started that he would indeed be playing, and he wanted to keep his word.

“He loves it,” Ryan Perry said of the opportunity to play in front of college coaches. “He wants to be the best and he loves it when people watch him play. He kind of feeds off that, and he enjoyed that a lot this weekend.

“There were a lot of coaches there who had proposed to him or had a very interesting contact with him. So it always makes you excited when the coaches show up and go out of their way to make sure you’re there. and making you a priority. And Travis respects and acknowledges all of that, so he loves playing in front of those guys.

Those who showed up surely left impressed.

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Perry led County Lyon to a 3-1 record over the two game days, scoring 42 points – with 10 three-pointers – in one game and 36 points in the team’s only loss, a 63 loss. -62 against Indianapolis Cathedral, reigning state champions Indiana.

Scholarship offers are pouring in.

Over the past week or so, Perry has picked up new offers from Purdue, Nebraska, Iowa, Cincinnati, Missouri and Wake Forest. These were added to a list of offers that already included Western Kentucky, Mississippi and Creighton.

Last weekend also brought about a major new development in Perry’s recruitment.

John Calipari was there on Sunday to see Xavier Booker, a star striker in the Class of 2023, who last week moved up to second place overall on Rivals.com. Having had the opportunity to play in front of the British coach, Perry – ranked No. 66 nationally by Rivals.com for the Class of 2024 – has clearly left a lasting impression.

Ryan Perry said Tuesday morning that Calipari had been in contact with him and his son “quite a bit” over the past 24 hours, and things were moving so quickly the Perrys planned to travel from western Kentucky to Lexington this weekend. -end so they can sit face to face with the British coach and do a recruitment tour on campus.

Both Travis Perry’s parents are British graduates and fans of the Wildcats basketball program, according to his father, who said Travis took a meticulous approach to recruiting, trying to learn more about each school and coach who offers a scholarship offer.

“It’s been intense,” Ryan Perry said. “But it’s really cool. This is a unique opportunity for Travis. And we’re just trying to help him navigate through it all.

Kentucky champion scorer?

For Kentucky high school basketball fans, Perry’s name is not new.

He burst onto the state prep scene as a seventh-grader, averaging 20.6 points per game that year. He hasn’t slowed down, racking up 3,189 career points so far and last season, leading the Lyonnais to their first Sweet Sixteen appearance in 71 years.

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As long as he remains healthy, Perry is on course to break “King” Kelly Coleman’s state record of 4,337 career points, a mark that has stood since 1956.

Ryan Perry says his son is asked all the time about breaking this record. Several times he heard Travis reply, “I’m just trying to get one more point than the other team because I have to go home with my dad.” And he’s the coach, and I don’t want to have to listen to him complaining all along.

The elder Perry conveys that response with a big laugh, but he says his son’s nature is hardwired to win at basketball.

“I don’t think you realize how much Travis does for you on the court until you take him off the court,” his coach/dad said. “You don’t realize how general he is on the pitch. He does a lot of coaching on the pitch for us. He is a player with a high IQ. He wants to win as much as anyone I’ve ever seen. In everything he does, but especially in basketball.

“But he’s also a pretty dynamic player. When you watch him walk through the gym, you’re not going to think it. If he needs to try and take control of a game – and score and score and score – he can do that. Or if guys have lags, he’s smart enough to know how to isolate those guys. He is a good player to have in his team. »

Over the past few months, he’s been particularly focused on becoming a better defender, and he was one of the steals leaders in the Adidas game this spring. Perry worked on his foot speed, his lateral quickness, his jumping ability. He is already trying to be physically in top form.

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“He’s been working really, really hard on his body to try to prepare him for when he goes to college, so he can hopefully make an impact right away,” his dad said.

And, as accomplished as he is as a goalscorer, Perry is still working on his shot. A lot. As a sophomore, he hit a 38 percent three-point clip, knocking down 116 threes in 36 games. In Adidas league games this spring, he’s shooting over 40% from deep.

The Perrys have a court set up at the house with a shooting machine, and Ryan Perry says his son will go straight there and shoot, even after arriving late from other basketball activities.

All the extra work obviously pays off. Along with new scholarship offers and growing interest from Kentucky, he’s getting calls from other top schools, including Michigan, which got in touch Monday night after coach Juwan Howard saw Perry play this weekend. end.

“The last two days have been crazy,” said Ryan Perry.

On Monday, father and son tried to get away from it all after the busy weekend with a game of golf. The college coaches kept buzzing.

“He was on the phone pretty much the whole ride,” Dad said. “It gets a little hot, but that’s a good thing.”

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