Remember the name Kaddell Perry. He is the grandson of the iconic Johnathon Kemp. Perry is a big name in Birmington, Alabama because of his performances as a shooting guard for Hale County High School.
Perry is connected to a long line of Bahamians who have excelled on basketball courts throughout the United States.
I think the year was 1958.
Godfrey “Pro” Pinder, with the assistance of the monks at St. Augustine’s College Monastery, gained a scholarship to attend the University of San Francisco. Pinder joined the varsity basketball team and his play with the Dons cemented him as the Bahamian prime time pioneer on the American collegiate basketball circuit.
In the mid-1960s, Johnny Gay became a noted name in South Florida because of his basketball skills. I spoke to Gay last year. He is still residing in Florida and was happy to reminisce.
During that same decade of the 1960s, Sterling Quant took his gangling, but resilient body into the U.S. collegiate mix and evolved to be the first Bahamian drafted at the professional level.
Later, such as Mychal Thompson, Cecil Rose, Charles Thompson and Osborne Lockhart, reinforced the U.S. collegiate talent pool of Bahamians in basketball. They made way for Magnum Rolle, Waltiea Rolle and so many others, all the way to the present, with Grand Bahamian Buddy Hield, in his rookie season in the National Basketball Association (NBA) season.
On the fairer sex side, Jonquel Jones has been spectacular in Asia following her rookie season in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She and Waltiea are stars on the foreign circuits as well.
Now, Perry, a senior at Hale
County is being paid attention to.
Earlier this month, he scored 31 points to carry Hale County to a 67-56 triumph against Monroe County for the Class 4A State Championship. According to the Tuscaloosa News, Perry with his strong Bahamian ingredient has done the unexpected, not regarding his ability but because of medical reasons. The Tuscaloosa News has reported “Perry had three surgeries in the past two years, including a meniscus transplant.” After the title win, Perry had this to say:
“We decided that we weren’t going to lose, and me individually, I just mentally told myself that if I ever got to this position we wouldn’t come in second. It took a lot to get here, a lot of work and a lot of gym time, so my main thing was if I ever made it to this position we weren’t going to lose.”
He is brimming over with confidence, for sure.
It will be interesting to see which college squad winds up with him.
Meanwhile, he is to be congratulated for keeping the Bahamian influence in basketball burning brightly.
Best wishes for the future Kaddell!
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org or on WhatsApp at727-6363.)
Published Friday, March, 17, 2017