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13 Bobby Perry

Bobby Perry
Hometown (Last School)
Durham, NC (Hillside)
2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07
January 7, 1985

Bobby Perry was born January 7, 1985, to Robert and Willoree Perry.  Perry grew up in an athletic atmosphere. His father, Robert, an attorney, played basketball at Enloe in the late 1960s, and his brothers, Ahmad and Chad, went to Hampton University on golf scholarships. Perry also played golf as a youngster and dreamed of making it on the PGA Tour. Then he began to grow and was soon hooked on hoops.  But Perry’s world was larger than a basketball court, and his gifts included more than shooting and rebounding.  He’s a National Honor Society student who wanted to become an orthopedic surgeon. He played the piano at his church, St. Mark AME Zion in Durham, and participated in two school plays.

In high school, Perry averaged 19.5 points and a shade under 10 rebounds per game during his four-year career, all on varsity, all as a starter. He put up 24.8 and 10.9 his senior season in leading his team to a 22-3 record and the 3-A East Regional semi-finals.  He had 25 points and 21 rebounds in a holiday tournament game and scored a career-high 40 against Southern Alamance on January 10, 2003.  He practically ran unopposed for Five County 3-A player of the year.  His final home game was not his finest, but the last minute was unforgettable.  Playing at Hillside for the last time, Perry advanced the Hornets to the 3-A East Regional for the first time in his career by pushing Hillside to a 64-62 boys’ basketball win over Wilson Hunt.  Perry broke a 58-all tie on an emphatic slam with 30 seconds to play in the game, then stole a pass on Hunt’s ensuing possession to seal the win.  Perry was selected as the 2003 North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A Mr. Basketball.

Perry verbally committed to Kentucky in May of 2002 after a weekend visit to campus and signed with Kentucky on November 15, 2002.  He chose the Wildcats over Wake Forest and Stanford. “l want to win a national championship,” Perry said during a signing day press conference attended by media, friends and family, “then I want to go on to bigger and better things.”

On December 20, 2003, Perry scored his first two collegiate points in a lopsided 80-41 win over Indiana.  As a freshman, Perry played in 18 games averaging 6 minutes per game.  He logged career highs in points (5 against Arkansas), minutes (16 against Arkansas) and rebounds (7 against Tennessee). 

“Bobby Perry is the most improved player on the team,” Coach Tubby Smith said at the team’s preseason media day before the start of Perry’s sophomore campaign.  As a sophomore, Perry played in 34 games averaging about 12 minutes per game.  He played a season-high 22 minutes against Vanderbilt on February 5, 2005.  He had a season-high 10 points against Kansas on January 9, 2005.  He also matched a season-high of 7 rebounds against Kansas.  He averaged 3.3 points and 2 rebounds per game.  He was among the team’s leaders in taking charges, and he moved comfortably around the perimeter, posing a three-point shooting threat that UK lacked in its other frontcourt reserves.

As a junior, Perry started 21 of 34 games averaging 20 minutes per game boosting his points per game to 7.1 and rebounds to 3.9 per game.  On November 25, 2005, in his second career start, Perry went 8-of-12 from the field and scored a career-high 22 points to lead seventh-ranked Kentucky past Liberty 81-51.  On December 3, 2005, Perry grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds against North Carolina. In February 2006, the SEC named Perry its Good Works Team Player of the Week. Perry regularly visited UK Children’s Hospital and Veterans Hospital. He also participated in the Memory Walk for Alzheimer’s and worked on a food drive to benefit God’s Pantry.  “To put a smile on somebody’s face is worth a million bucks to me,” he said.  On March 10, 2006, in the SEC Tournament Quarter Finals against Alabama, Perry scored on a layup with 1:15 left to break a 61-61 tie, and Kentucky rallied from an 11-point deficit in the final 6:19 to pull out a 68-61 victory.  On March 17, 2006, in the NCAA Washington D.C. Regional First Round, Perry set another career high in points. That day he scored 25 points in Kentucky’s win against Alabama-Birmingham, 69-64. He also had 7 rebounds. He followed that up with a 20-point performance in a losing effort to Connecticut on March 19, 2006. named Bobby Perry among the “Breakout Players” in that year’s NCAA Tournament.

As a senior, Perry played in 34 games averaging 23 minutes per game.  He averaged 8.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.  On December 9, 2006, in a win over Indiana, Perry nabbed a triple-double:  11 points, 10 rebounds and 12 stitches.  He was forced out of the game late with a bloody gash over his eyebrow.  Few Wildcats have ever done Senior Night as right as Perry.  On February 28, 2007, the night when My Old Kentucky Home filled Rupp Arena in the traditional pre-game tribute to departing seniors, Perry scored UK’s first seven points en route to a season-high 22 points as UK whipped Georgia 82-70.  It was the most points for the 6-foot-8 forward from Durham, N.C., since he had back-to-back games of 25 (vs. Alabama-Birmingham) and 20 (vs. Connecticut) last year in the NCAA Tournament.  The win allowed Kentucky (20-9, 9-6 Southeastern Conference) to move into a tie with Tennessee for third place in the SEC East.  In the final game of his collegiate career, Perry exited in grand style. He made a career-high five three-pointers and scored 21 points on March 18, 2007, in an NCAA Tournament Second Round loss to Kansas.

Perry left Kentucky with a special place in his heart for coach Tubby Smith.  “Playing for Tubby has been great. Tubby has really taught me a lot. On the court, he’s taught me more than I can even think about,” Perry said.  “Watching him, and the relationship we have, has taught me a lot about life in general.  He has been very influential in my development, and I appreciate that.”

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