Scoring title sinking in for Perry
Published 11:43 am Thursday, January 25, 2024
By Larry Vaught
Lyon County star Travis Perry admits it has finally “kind of sunk in” that he is Kentucky’s all-time leading high school scorer but admits it still feels “surreal” to him.
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“I am still more about having fun and just playing with my buddies. There are a lot of things in the world more important than what we do and I know that. It’s a great honor to have (being the all-time leading scorer), but I just want to enjoy this season.”
Perry finished his junior year with 4,359 points to break the once thought untouchable record set by King Kelly Coleman of Wayland from 1952-56 when he scored 4,337 points and averaged 46.8 points per game his senior season.
Perry said he didn’t keep track of his points and didn’t realize he was less than 100 points away from 5,000 career points going into play this week. He had already scored 559 points this year, an average of 29.4 points per game that is tied for second best in the state. He’s shooting 82.7 percent at the foul line and 53.7 percent overall from the field. From 3-point range he’s making 43 percent of its tries despite averaging 11 attempts per game.
Perry surprised some by signing with Kentucky in November which only added to the spotlight on him after breaking Coleman’s record at the state tournament in March.
“It’s definitely been different (as a UK signee),” Perry said. “Kentucky basketball is unlike any other animal in the world with the media and fans around it. Lyon County fans travel well and when we are on the road our side is usually full but on the other side you see a lot of blue scattered in there and it has been nice to see that support.
“There have been tons of kids and people wanting autographs and pictures after games. I enjoy that and remember being that kid who was trying to get every autograph I could and being so proud when I got one.”
Perry has basketballs and jerseys at his house he got autographed standing outside Memorial Coliseum when he was a kid. His favorite is one signed by 2012 national player of the year and current Los Angeles Laker star Anthony Davis who led UK to the national title that year.
“I’ve also got a bunch of Cal when I was younger that is pretty neat,” Perry said.
Perry said it has been nice to be able to focus more on game preparation and his teammates knowing he already was the state’s all-time leading scorer and had his college choice made compared to last year.
“Honestly the game focus is not much different but I have more free time during the week where I don’t have to be on my phone (with college coaches). It’s definitely been a lot less stressful,” Perry said. “It’s hard to play or practice when you are stressed and your mind is racing. It was a neat process to talk to some of the nation’s best basketball minds but less stress has been nice.”
He enjoyed going to the prestigious City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla., where Lyon won its division. They also won the White, Greer & Maggard Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic. Lyon also got to participate in the Mountain Sports Hall of Fame Throwback Game at Wayland.
“Getting to play in the City of Palms and watching future (NBA) lottery picks and the best teams and players in the nation and you get to be part of that is not normal for a team like us,” Perry said. “Getting to go to Wayland and experience that was unlike any other thing we have done and there was so much history there. At Lexington Catholic, we played some of the best teams in the state and won a four-day tournament, something we had not done before.”
Perry insists he doesn’t think about the upcoming Mr. Basketball voting. He’s the obvious frontrunner for the award that North Laurel standout Reed Sheppard won last year.
“I know it sounds cliche, but I just think about basketball. You can think about all the things that could happen and the good stuff that might be coming but if you do not keep working it will all go away,” Perry said. “I see some talk about it on the internet but I just know it is something I have no control over and it will all work itself out.”