Perry savors two-sport challenge
Published 1:38 am Wednesday, May 30, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
When LaPerion Perry needs motivation, he thinks about his father.
Nick Perry was tragically killed in a car accident in August of 2016, shortly before LaPerion Perry was set to begin his senior season as a football player at LaGrange High.
It was a devastating blow for Perry, who relied on his dad in so many different ways.
Perry is now a college athlete, and he is preparing for his sophomore year at the University of West Georgia.
While Perry can’t talk to his father or lean on him for advice like he used to, he still thinks about him, and uses his memory as fuel.
“It makes me challenge myself,” said Perry, who was an all-state player in football and basketball at LaGrange. “I think about him, and then I go harder.”
Perry needs all of the motivation he can find considering he’s doing something that not many athletes are able to pull off.
Perry is a two-sport athlete, and he was a member of the football and basketball teams during his freshman year at West Georgia.
Perry played in four football games and he had a pair of catches, but his season was cut short when he suffered a finger injury.
“I was still going to play, but (the head coach) just told me to take the red-shirt,” Perry said.
Perry continued to practice with his teammates for the duration of the season, and he was part of a team that reached the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.
“Football, it was pretty cool,” Perry said. “Even though I didn’t play, I practiced every day.”
Perry then made the transition to basketball, and he played in 16 games and averaged 4.4 points per game.
“It was kind of hard,” Perry said. “I came in the middle of the season, so I wasn’t in basketball shape, so I had to get in shape.”
Perry was not only making the transition to being a college student, but he was adjusting to being a two-sport athlete on that level.
It was, Perry said, a learning experience.
“You had to get used to the people, and you had to adjust to getting up real early, doing things you didn’t have to do in high school,” Perry said. “You meet older people, and you learn from them. It was a good experience.”
Perry plans on continuing to play two sports at West Georgia, and he knows there can never be any let-up.
“You’ve got to go out every day and want it,” Perry said.