With the 2015/16 college season underway in the USA, Jock Perry is already looking forward to next year when he will join the St. Mary’s Gaels men’s basketball program.
Signing earlier this year, Perry will spend the next few months at the Centre of Excellence (CoE) where he will continue rehabilitation on his knee which he injured in the most recent season of the South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL).
Born in May 1997, Perry picked up basketball reasonably late into his development but his height gave him an immediate advantage in the sport.
Standing at over 7 feet and possibly with a couple of inches left to grow, Perry will boost the front court stocks of St. Mary’s alongside a number of other Australians already in the program.
“That’s one thing I was looking for in a college, having some Australians there,” said Perry. “It will make the transition easier and knowing there are good guys there is an exciting prospect.”
Currently on the roster are Emmett Narr and Kyle Clark while Tanner Krebs, Dane Pineau and Jordan Hunter have all arrived at St. Mary’s through the CoE.
On the sidelines, former AIS coach, Marty Clarke, works under head coach Randy Bennett and this home flavour helped make Perry’s decision easier.
“During the last school holidays I flew over for 48 hours. I got a tour of the school and watched the current team train. I loved the feel of the school and I got along well with the coaches and the people there.
“I gave myself a two week period to think it over before ringing Coach B and Marty and I told them I was pumped and wanted to commit to St. Mary’s. Coach B and Marty are awesome coaches and I felt like it would be the best fit for me to become the best player I can.”
Arriving at the CoE in 2013, Perry learnt just how dedicated an athlete must be to make it at the highest level and he admits the learning process will continue.
“The CoE has been a big part of my development because I’ve been here since such a young age. They really helped me at the beginning and continue to teach me the day-to-day things that a professional athlete needs.”
The journey has not been easy, with Perry’s knee injury coming after a broken hand and thumb but the support staff at the CoE have helped him through those tribulations.
“I’ve heard it is a bit different at college, you are not as looked after, so to have learnt how to monitor my body, going regularly to the physio’s and doctor’s, ensuring I am on time to every meeting and going to the gym- it’s great to know how to be professional before I go over to the USA.
“Its been a great three years. Adam Caporn and all the coaches I’ve had have been world-class and the opportunity to play in the SEABL was great for my development.”
Without wanting to get ahead of himself, Perry has set high standards for his future.
“I’d like to win a NCAA Championship firstly and then come back home and play professional basketball and hopefully play for the Boomers.”