By Joe Scalzo
Ever since basketball season ended, Youngstown State senior Kendrick Perry has been dreaming about that big moment where he walks across the stage in front of the cameras and gets ready for the next stage of his life.
But he’s not talking about the NBA draft.
“At this point, honestly, the biggest thing on my mind is getting my degree,” said Perry, a criminal justice major. “I can’t wait to walk across that stage.”
Perry, who earned first team all-Horizon League honors for the third straight year this winter, is coming off a solid performance at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, a pre-draft camp for 64 college seniors. Perry struggled with his shot early on, but averaged 8.7 points and 2.0 assists in three games, including 13 points in the finale.
Perry (6-foot, 160 pounds) also posted the fastest three-quarter court sprint time (3.18 seconds) and had the second-fastest time in the lane agility drills (10.79 seconds). DraftExpress.com said Perry and Penn State’s Tim Frazier “were arguably the two top athletes at the 2014 PIT, finishing well above average in each of the three tests administered.”
“I did OK,” Perry said of the tournament. “I could have shot the ball much better. I think I played well on the defensive end and even though my shot was going, I tried to get other guys involved. One thing that stood out was I did real well on the agility drills, so if that gives me a shot, I’m thankful for that.”
Perry admitted it’s tough not to overanalyze his performance — “Especially when you’re trying to get your name out there” — but said he’s trying to take things in stride. He knows he’s built a solid resume at Youngstown State, where he set the Division I scoring record (1,991), broke the Horizon League’s career steals record (246) and finished with more than 500 assists and 500 rebounds.
“I know some teams have talked to my agent and my coaches,” said Perry, a two-time all-defensive team choice. “I’m just trying to get better and sharpen my game.”
Perry finished up his classes this week and will spend the next few weeks focusing on basketball, with one eye on his May 17 commencement.
“It’s extremely important to me and my family to get that college degree,” he said. “I put as much energy in academics as I do in basketball, if not more.”
Weber to Ball State
Former Youngstown State forward Ryan Weber is transferring to Ball State, according to the Indianapolis Star. He will sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules and have two years of eligibility remaining.
He told the newspaper he also considered Miami (Ohio) and Western Michigan. Weber is an Indianapolis native. Weber decided to leave the program following this season after averaging 12.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
Davis to Northern Kentucky
Former YSU point guard Shar’Rae Davis will play for Northern Kentucky.
She posted on Instagram a picture of her wearing Viking horns and holding an NKU pennant, writing, “My new home! If you thought freshman year was somethin haha just wait. #Godisgood.”
Davis made the Horizon League’s all-newcomer team as a freshman in 2012-13 but missed last season while battling ulcerative colitis. YSU did not renew her scholarship. The Penguins have played Northern Kentucky each of the past two seasons, losing in 2012 and winning in 2013.