Updated: Jun 11
Credit: Josh Thomas
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present Gonzaga commit Kaden Perry, from Battle Ground, Washington:
Pro Insight: Describe your game — what are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Kaden Perry: My game is kind of based on being big, athletic, being able to jump, contest and block shots. My greatest strength is my ability to be quick and use my motor to be bouncy and get up and down the court. My biggest area of improvement is my shot. It has improved a lot, in the midrange area and out on the 3 point line.
PI: You led your team to state last year. What do you still want to accomplish before graduating from Battle Ground?
KP: My main goals are to get back to the Tacoma Dome and place at state. Need to complete the journey at Battle Ground, not just reach the Dome. Hopefully hang some banners in the rafters.
PI: Why do you wear #20? Is there a story behind that?
KP: I wear #20 because it is my favorite number, my lucky number and it’s the day my birthday is on. I’ve worn it my whole life.
PI: Which position do you view yourself as?
KP: I view myself as a power forward or post type of player. I have been working on my skills to help myself in the open court to stretch the floor.
PI: Of everyone you’ve faced so far, who has impressed you most on the court this season?
KP: Nathan Bittle from Crater High School.
PI: What has stood out the most?
KP: His length and ball skills are tough to match up with, for a guy that size.
PI: Talk about your commitment to Gonzaga. What led up to it? Why early?
KP: Ever since my first camp there, looking at their campus and courts, I really enjoyed myself there. They have a great track record of developing players to play at the next level. They have a great family aspect within their team as well. I’ve always felt I wanted to go there, so I didn’t see a point in extending my recruitment anymore.
PI: What are you most looking forward to about playing for the Zags?
KP: The energy and the atmosphere in Spokane is crazy. The community is so invested in the Zags and I feel it’s going to motivate me even more to play that much harder.
PI: What’s your all-time favorite memory on the basketball court?
KP: After I fouled out in the Prairie game last year, I was able to see my teammates really step up. I loved seeing my teammate Brendan Beall hit the game winner at the buzzer.
PI: Do you watch more college or NBA basketball? What are you looking for and what are your biggest takeaways when you watch?
KP: I watch more college basketball. I like to see what level those guys are playing at and what they are doing on the court. A takeaway is how fast the game is played at. The players are really athletic and never seem to get winded.
PI: Which type of system do you feel best fits your game?
KP: The system I like the most is transition and being able to run up and down the court. I have a high motor and being able to run fits me perfectly.
PI: College or pro, current or former player – do you model your game after anyone?
KP: I don’t model my game after anyone or don’t try to. I just try to be myself. Lately, however, I have been told I remind a lot of people of Brandon Clarke from Gonzaga. He has a high motor, blocks a lot of shots and has a great second jump.
PI: What was your experience like at the USA Basketball minicamp in Colorado?
KP: It was a great experience. I was a late invite and it was a tremendous honor. Being around the top players in the nation was incredible. It showed me how much I need to work to get to where I need to be. Definitely was a new perspective on how I should approach my game.
PI: You’re invited back to the USA minicamp in Atlanta during the Final Four – what are you looking to gain this time around?
KP: Just to prove to myself and everyone that I have improved my game. I want to take my game to the next level and show my talents. I really want to show out this time around and play with even more confidence.
PI: Please explain what Kaden Perry brings to a team, regardless of the situation – name some things on the court and some things off the court.
KP: Off the court I try to make a lot of jokes and keep people in a great mood and motivated. On the court I try to be positive and motivating to my teammates. I want them to feel supported.
PI: Name four words that best describe you.
KP: Athletic, positive (towards my teammates), goofy, and hardworking.
PI: What has been a defining moment or story in your life? Why has that stuck with you and what did you learn from it?
KP: A moment in my life that I won’t forget was when my mom got sick during my freshman year. I didn’t know if she was going to pass away, what was wrong with her, if I’d ever see her again. A lot of things went through my mind. When she finally was able to come home, after months in the hospital, a huge weight was lifting off of me. She is my number-one supporter and I love her so much.
PI: What, or who, would you say is your biggest motivation in life?
KP: My mom has been my biggest motivation in my life. She pushes me to be the best basketball player and person I can be. She is always there for me no matter what.
PI: Can you talk a bit about your family and what they mean to you?
KP: My mom and brother are the center of everything. I try to hang out with my brother as much as possible and hopefully motivate him to be special in his own way. My mom is my number-one supporter and is always there to motivate me no matter the situation.
PI: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
KP: The best advice I’ve received is to be confident on the court. Coach Melo and other coaches have told me this multiple times and I am still working on it.
PI: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
KP: In 10 years I see myself hopefully still playing basketball and especially at the pro level. Being able to have basketball as my job would be awesome.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you want to be remembered for?
KP: I want to be remembered for being somebody who was great on and off the court. When people say, “Kaden Perry,” I hope people can remember not just great basketball plays, but also me as a great person and friend. Someone that was kind, funny, and included others.