Junior goes from injured to starter

Madeline Williams, Assistant Sports Editor
February 3, 2012

As the Slippery Rock University men’s basketball team approaches the second half of the division schedule, junior forward Tabari Perry has bounced back from a season-ending injury last season and earned a spot in the starting line-up.

Perry, from Cambridge, Maryland, said his basketball career started back when he played in the fourth grade on the elementary team.

Perry attended Cambridge-South Dorchester High School and averaged 20.4 points during his senior year. He earned “Player of the Year” honors and received all-district and all-region honors his final season of high school basketball.

Before attending SRU, Perry played for Cecil College in 2008-09, averaging 7.2 points per game and 5.6 rebounds per game.

Last season for the Rock, Perry started the first four games of the season, scoring 30 points, before a torn ACL sidelined him for the rest of the season.

Recovering from his injury, Perry is averaging 10.1 points per game, 6.5 rebounds per game, and 1.4 assists per game this season. Perry scored a career high of 22 points in the victory over Lock Haven University on Jan. 11, including six three pointers.

“I had ACL surgery last December and went through a lot of rehab in order to get back to where I am now,” Perry said.

Like any great player, Perry has personal goals he wants to achieve himself, but also has goals that he will strive to reach with the team.

“I want to help my team win the next seven games on our schedule,” Perry said. “Personally, I need to work on scoring, rebounding, and communication on the floor in order to reach this goal.”

Perry credits his coaches for being supportive of him through the season, especially head coach Kevin Reynolds.

“Coach Reynolds and the other coaches have helped me out a lot in the last few years,” Perry said. “I could go to them with anything and I know they’d be there for me no matter what.”

Junior guard John Bayardelle thinks Perry is a unique and  well-balanced player on and off the court.

“Tabari is a one of a kind kid,” Bayardelle said. “I believe that he’s our most versatile player. He can play multiple positions well. I enjoy playing with Tabari because I can depend on him to make the big play. Off the court, he’s one of the greatest kids.”

Senior guard Devin Taylor said Perry has many good qualities that make him a great teammate and a good friend.

“Playing with Tabari is awesome because he is a good guy, really funny, and he’s very versatile,” Taylor said. “He can play positions 1-5 very effectively and I think that’s why he’s one of our best players.”

Perry is a professional studies major.

After getting his degree, Perry has plans to move away to Los Angeles or Miami and find a job in his field of study.

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