Gonzaga is on the board in the 2021 recruiting class with an oral commitment from forward Kaden Perry.
The rising junior at Battle Ground (Washington) High School was with his squad at Gonzaga’s team camp this week. Prior to leaving Thursday, Perry met with GU head coach Mark Few and assistant coaches Tommy Lloyd and Brian Michaelson.
“They were telling me about how great this place is and that it’s a great family here,” Perry said. “They asked if I wanted to be part of it. I didn’t even hesitate. I said, ‘I’d love to be part of it.’ I still have the adrenaline going (several hours later).”
The Zags have been in contact with Perry, so the offer didn’t come out of the blue. Perry was hopeful, but didn’t know for sure until the scholarship offer came during the meeting.
Battle Ground head coach Manny Melo snapped a picture of Perry holding a Gonzaga T-shirt standing next to the Bulldog sculpture outside the McCarthey Athletic Center.
“An amazing moment for this young man,” Melo tweeted.
“Gonzaga has amazing facilities, the location is great and it’s close to home,” the 6-foot-9, 210-pound Perry said. “They put a lot of guys into the NBA, and I feel like they could help me with my game and help me accomplish what I want to do.”
Perry said he had scholarship offers from Washington, Portland and Montana.
Perry, the first member of Gonzaga’s 2021 recruiting class, is from the same high school as former Zag Richie Frahm. Battle Ground is roughly 30 miles north of Portland, a region that has produced numerous GU standouts.
“I’ve been working on my outside shot,” said Perry, who is playing for the Rose City Rebels AAU team this summer. “This is a time when I can develop my shot, and I can show that going into my junior year.”
The Zags have been active recruiting Washington-based prep players. Incoming freshmen Anton Watson (Gonzaga Prep) and Brock Ravet (Kittitas) are part of a nationally ranked 2019 recruiting class. Junior forward Corey Kispert played at King’s High in Shoreline.
Perry averaged 16 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks as a sophomore, helping Battle Ground reach the state tournament for the first time since 2002. He had 20 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks in a State 4A tournament loss to Kentridge.
“I’ve played against Ravet a couple times,” said Perry, a first-team Greater St. Helens League selection. “We would have played (Gonzaga Prep) if we had won our (first) game at state.”
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