6’2” guard Travis Perry of Lyon County High School (KY) and Indiana Elite (IN) is already one of Kentucky’s most decorated high school athletes. Playing up on the varsity team since seventh grade, the 2024 four-star prospect holds the state title as the all-time leader in three-point field goals made and total points prior to even stepping onto the court for his senior year. A skilled shooter and high IQ floor general, Perry earned the accolades of Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year and MaxPreps Junior All-American 3rd team after a historic 2022-23 high school season. With a multitude of scholarship offers from elite college programs across the country, he will undoubtedly make an impact at the next level.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Perry discussed what it meant to win KY Gatorade Player of the Year and break the state’s all-time scoring record, his interest in golfing and hunting, his dream NIL deal, and much more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2024 prospect Travis Perry, from Eddyville, Kentucky:
Pro Insight: How did you get to where you are today? Talk a bit about your background and family.
Travis Perry: I'm Travis Perry. I'm from Western Kentucky, Eddyville, Lyon County. I'm a 2024 guard. Basketball has been pretty much my life since I can remember. I've played it since I could walk. As a little kid, I'd always play. I played other sports, but that's always been my main sport. My dad has coached me since I was in pretty much second grade when we started and he’s coached all the way through and worked hard at it and it's been my lifestyle pretty much and that's kind of what's gotten me to where I am today. A lot of great teammates, a lot of great coaches outside of my dad, also with AAU and stuff and just a lot of great people. I mean basketball, it's obviously fun getting to travel and play and stuff, but meeting great people, meeting great basketball players, future successful NBA players and all that type of stuff is really neat, too. So it's just been something very neat to be able to do and be a part of for sure. So basketball has been there since the beginning.
PI: Any other athletes in the family?
TP: Yeah, my dad played. He played golf in college, actually, so he played basketball in high school, but he was really good at golf, played golf in college. And then I've got two sisters and a brother, and they're all athletes. They play basketball, softball, baseball, all those things. The littlest ones, probably the most confident. He's my little brother. He's eight years old. He’s as confident as they come. I mean, he can shoot it and he loves playing, so he's around our high school team all the time. So his ego’s kind of through the roof. He goes out there and kind of bullies those guys and plays basketball. So it's pretty neat to kind of have him along for the ride along with my dad.
PI: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received from your dad?
TP: I wouldn't really say if it's advice, but it's just kind of that constant, the thing that kind of comes into mind when you're in a big game or you're playing a game that's important. Just kind of the added motivation and playing for your dad. You know, some people look at it as you might get treated differently, get treated a little bit harsher or whatever, but as the coach’s son, you gotta work harder than everybody else and the main thing going that I look at is everybody wants to win for themselves, but whenever you have your dad, someone on the sideline that you don't want to lose for, that makes it a lot better for me. It's just going out there and playing for not only myself, my teammates, but also for him and our coaching staff. You know, they do so much that's not recognized and a loss reflects more. You know, people are going to say stuff about the coaches, say they should have done something differently instead of the players. So that's one of those things that kind of puts a little chip on your shoulder during the game to try and take it all out there and play the best game you can to win for those guys. So that's one of the things, always playing for him. He just tells me to work hard and don't worry about mistakes, go out and worry about the next play and that's something that's kind of helped our relationship grow. And then just like I said, just trying to win for him.
PI: What other sports did you play growing up?
TP: Yeah, I actually played baseball, football, and golf all growing up. I still played golf a little bit on our high school team. We don't have football at our school and baseball is the same time as basketball during the fall. I'll get a little bit of baseball in the late summer and fall and play on our high school team so it's pretty fun. Me and a couple of basketball teammates, I've got to play with them, so we have a good time.
PI: For those who aren’t familiar with your game, what are your greatest strengths and playstyle?
TP: I think that my greatest strength is my shooting ability and that's something that kind of separates me and expands my game a little bit just shooting it from long range, you know, always being able to to catch and shoot, shoot off the dribble. Anything like that is something that translates to any level of game. So that's one of the main things that I work on. And then also just being a leader, being a winner, that's one of the things I take pride in. You know, being a winner is something that I have been able to experience. Whatever it takes to win, whether I’m locking down on defense or I need to get 35, 40 points. I can do that too. Just whatever it takes to win is what I'm gonna do on that night. So that's the main thing for me.
PI: What type of leader are you?
TP: I'm more of a lead by example. I’ve been playing varsity basketball since 7th grade and that's something that just kind of molded me into who I am today. You know, you can't really boss around the guys out there and kind of chirp at them, but you can lead by example by working hard, working as hard as you can. Being the first guy to finish in sprints, that's always something I strive to do. Being the first guy to finish everything, conditioning, getting on the floor for loose balls, taking charges. Stuff like that is stuff that people recognize on their team and kind of realize, “Okay our guy is out there working as hard as he can to get us a win so I should be working just as hard if not harder.” So that's one of the main things. So just leading by example is kind of that way, but also more of a vocal leader just kind of working with people to tell them where they are in the play. There's times that people don't know where the plays are so that's my job to tell them where they should be and lead them. They’re young players so it’s good to walk through the situation by example, but then also leading them through both actions is something that you kind of have a little bit of both leadership aspects.
PI: Who do you model your game after or study on film?
TP: There's a few. Obviously like NBA guys, I like watching Steph Curry, you know, that's something that everybody says, but really the thing that I take from it is how well he moves without the ball. You know, I like to be the guy that's always moving without the ball, getting out there, making it hard for defenses to cover you. If you're in shape, that's a lot easier to do and not everybody's in shape like that. So that's one of the main things is staying in shape like that just to be able to move on the court at all times. That's a hidden weapon. But he's one of the main guys and then I just like to watch smaller guards in the NBA. Just kind of guys that use their minds. I really like Payton Pritchard, who was at Oregon. I really like watching him just how he kind of uses his mind, uses his IQ to manipulate the defense, to make good decisions, and also kind of along that Luka [Doncic]. Luka does that very well. He plays at his own speed, doesn't get sped up and just makes the right decisions at all times. So kind of those guys like Steph, how he moves without the ball, but then also using the IQ to get advantages.
PI: What are your current measurements?
TP: I'm 6’2” and 170 lbs. Wingspan, I don't really know. I don't think that I've ever been measured for wingspan except for like a camp one time so I don't really know that, but I'd say I got decently long arms, so probably a little bit above 6’2”.
PI: Congratulations on winning the Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year and breaking the Kentucky high school all-time scoring record! What do those two achievements mean to you?
TP: Being named the KY Gatorade Player of the Year is a huge honor. It’s an award that highlights not only athletic achievement but also academics and character. That is something that means a lot to me — being a guy who can be a role model in the community and provide a positive light through basketball. It’s an amazing award to receive and I’m very blessed and thankful to be chosen. Breaking the all-time scoring record was a very humbling experience. It was a record that has stood for a very long time and has a lot of history behind it. I have been blessed to have this opportunity through great coaches, teammates, community support, and being put in positions to succeed! It also motivates me to keep going and appreciate moments like that one.
PI: What are your short term goals you have for yourself as a player?
TP: Really, the main goal is just to get better. AAU, obviously I want to win every game possible, put on good showings out there with my teammates and win all the events that we can and the 3SSB circuit. Then high school next year, the main goals are two state championships. You know, we're a small school, so we get to participate in the Class A Regional and State and also the regular KSA Regional and State, so we haven't won state in either one of them. We've made it to state but haven't completed that goal yet. So winning that state tournament would be great, whether it's one or the other. I'm really hoping for both, so just kind of getting better. I'm getting mentally prepared, getting physically prepared for those tournaments and just leaving it all out there. High school basketball is a time that you don't get back in your life, that you only get to live once. No matter what happens, there's a lot of obstacles that you can face. I'm very thankful for how it's kind of played out so far and just really hoping to continue to capitalize off of it and have good, fun times with it and win a lot of games. The goal is to win and win your last game in high school. That's something everybody wants to do, so that's the goal.
PI: Describe your experience with Indiana Elite.
TP: Yeah, we're definitely a great team like you said, you know. AAU, there's a lot of teams that go out there and play a lot of one-on-one ball, just trying to get theirs, but for our team, it's about winning. That's what it's been about. It’s had so much success. We got a lot of great players on the team, a lot of high level guys. I mean, we've got a great team and picked up some other great players with all-around games, so it's a lot of high level guys who just want to win at the end of the day and that's what it takes. You know, there’s a lot of eyes on us when we play, but over the past year, we just play together and the goal is to try and win some games.
PI: What is your recruitment update? Who have you been hearing from the most, lately?
TP: The schools that have contacted me. They're always reaching out. Purdue reaches out a lot. They're always contacting me, Coach Painter, Coach Lusk. And then pretty much all the schools that have offered me. Missouri, Kentucky, Western Kentucky, all those schools are keeping in contact a lot. Michigan reaches out a lot. Virginia, Vanderbilt, schools like that. Florida, Indiana, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Stanford, and Ole Miss all reach out often to grow our relationship. UCLA makes almost daily contact, too.They just reach out and just kind of want to learn more about me and then also just talk basketball. That's one of the things, talk basketball and then just talk about family, things like that. So those are some things that really mean a lot to me.
PI: Do you have a dream school growing up?
TP: Not really. You know, I've always been just kind of a fan of just good basketball. There's been a lot of good basketball over the years. I've been blessed to be able to watch it and have a love for it from the beginning. That's something that I'm really thankful for. I've loved this sport for so long, but not really a dream school, just a fan of good basketball.
PI: Which schools are you hoping to visit in the near future?
TP: Yeah, I’m gonna try and set up a visit to Virginia pretty soon, and there's some more schools that I'll try and get out to. Just as it goes, you know it's a busy time for us. And then so just whatever it happens, just trying to get a visit to a couple more schools.
PI: Which college coach would you say you’ve formed the closest relationship with and why?
TP: Yeah, there's a lot that I've had that I've built good relationships with. You know, when you talk to people that often and kind of get to talk about things you like and about things they like. That's the main thing for me is just building that relationship. I wouldn't say there's any really that just like pop out as a relationship being really good there. They're all good relationships, really good bonds and just continue to grow them, learn more about them and how it would be playing under those coaches. Those are things that I hope to continue to find out.
PI: What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?
TP: Golf. I always have to turn to golf. Golf is one of my favorite things to do off the basketball court, and since I live out in the country in Lyon County and it's kind of Western Kentucky — so hunting and fishing are some things I love to do. I love deer hunting, turkey hunting. I went duck hunting for the first time this year, so there's some things like that I love to do. Hunting is one of the main things that I love to do whenever I have some free time.
PI: Who is your favorite golfer?
TP: Yeah, I wouldn't really say that I have a favorite golfer. You know, I like [Jordan] Spieth pretty well. I like [Scottie] Scheffler pretty well. I like a couple of those guys. You know, Tiger is one of the guys that you've got to root for, just kind of how he's doing and still able to play at that level at this age with everything he's been through. Tiger is one of those guys you just want to do well. Yeah, I like Spieth, Scheffler, [Justin] Thomas, a couple of those guys, [Collin] Morikawa. I like those guys pretty well.
PI: Who are your favorite music artists?
TP: I kind of like to listen to more chill stuff. I'll listen to country music a lot. I don't really listen to a lot of rap. I listen to Zach Bryan. He is one of my favorites to listen to. A little bit of Morgan Wallen every now and then. Luke Combs, guys like that I like to listen to and then every now and then I'll sprinkle in a little Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift is one of my go-tos, too. She just has a lot of chill songs that I like for sure.
PI: Have you been to a Taylor Swift concert?
TP: I have never. Yeah, I haven't been to a concert. A bunch of people in my school have been talking about getting tickets to one, but I've never even been to a concert, so I told somebody the other day that if I'm gonna go to one, I'm gonna go to hers. So maybe in the future (laughs).
PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself. What is it?
TP: I'm going to go with #G2G. This year, our team kind of adapted this… Our strength coach kind of came out with it first — G2G standing for Glory to God. We've had a great few seasons and it just kind of puts into perspective you always got to give the glory to God. You know, we're doing great things here in our community and for our school, but none of it is possible without God. So that's one of the things we try to use to stay grounded and just kind of keep us where we need to be. So that's a hashtag I would use.
PI: How important is your faith to you?
TP: Yeah, it's definitely really important. You know, it's something that I try to take and realize that there's a lot more things that are more important than basketball in life. In life, basketball is just a short portion of it. So just really kind of just kind of staying where you need to be as a person in your faith and just doing the right things at all times and being a good positive light.
PI: If you weren’t pursuing a career as a professional hooper, what do you think you would choose to do?
TP: I have wanted to be a doctor or a pharmacist or something like that. I don't know. There's a lot of things, you know — a professional golfer is something that I had wanted to be so that’s what I would probably say is a professional golfer because they live the life, they get to go out there, and play golf all the time. They're practicing on the golf course and playing the nicest courses in the country so that's something that I would like to do.
PI: Are you an introvert or extrovert?
TP: Probably an extrovert.
PI: What is the biggest misconception people have about you?
TP: Probably that I chuck a lot of shots. People see all the scoring and stuff like that and say that I never pass or anything like that. But really I'm a very unselfish player and like to get everybody involved. I don't care if I score 35 or if I score 5. It doesn't really matter. At the end of the day, as long as we win, one of the things I like to clear up is that I'm not just out there chucking shots, I'm doing it efficiently.
PI: What is your dream NIL deal and why?
TP: That's a good one. I've been talking with people at the golf course, like maybe a type of sweet tea brand. I love sweet tea. Every time I go out there, they got me hooked up with a sweet tea, so probably some sweet tea brand would be a really good NIL deal to get.
PI: Besides the NBA, where do you see yourself in five years?
TP: That's a good question. Hopefully with some sort of degree or plan for my life and also one of the main things I want to keep doing is supporting my younger sister and brother. Being back here watching my younger brother, my younger sister and them playing the sports they love still and being around them. I love having them around so I'm going to want to be around them for when they're going through their high school ages.
PI: Have you thought about your college major?
TP: I think I’m looking into doing business right now. That's kind of something that I’m enjoying. Business is everywhere in the world. You can do anything out of business, so I think I'm wanting to do that a little bit and then I've mentioned a couple of times that I have a coach's mind so I might want to eventually look into coaching, so we'll see. That's kind of where I'm thinking right now.
PI: Name four words that best describe you.
TP: Active, loving, unselfish, and hardworking.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
TP: The main thing is that I'll go out there and hopefully have people remember when they watch me play is the guy who plays hard. You know, that's kind of the thing that everybody can do — you can control. You can't always control that you're gonna shoot it well. You can't control that you’re going to be able to lock your guy down on any given night, but you can always play hard, do the little things, and look like you're having fun. And that's something that we like to try and take into it is to look like you're having fun. If you're not out there having fun, look like you're having fun and look like you're having a good time. It's basketball. It's not the most important thing in the world. It's obviously something that you want to win every game, you want to put on a good showing, but it's at the end of the day, there are things that are more important than that, bigger problems than that. So just look like you're having fun. It's a blessing to be able to play the game, so that's kind of how I want to be remembered as a player. As a person, just as someone that is always there for people and never locked over people. You know, in this day and age, athletes and people like that have kind of a status or kind of seen as above other people or whatever you can say, but it's always the idea that you’re never above anybody — that everybody is equal. Everybody has something to offer. Everybody brings something to the world and something to other people. So that's kind of the thing, just talking to everybody you can, being a good person to them. Always being remembered as that humble, caring guy is what I want to be remembered as. Someone that's always there and never has a big head.