The past few months have been hectic for the former Mckinley Tech now Westlake senior guard Rinardo Perry. After exploding on the scene last season thanks to a dominant junior year that led to all DCIAA first team honors, and standout performances during summer league play and on the AAU circuit suiting up for DC Premier, heavy interest from D1 programs followed. Today Perry chose his collegiate home, committing to UMass Lowell. I had a chance to catch up to Perry to see what factors led to his decision to commit, how his breakout summer helped his game and his goals for the upcoming season.
FM - What was the thing that ultimately made you feel UMass Lowell was the program for you?
RP - The love the coaches showed me, the academic program and the instant connection with coach Lou.
FM - You blew up over the summer after impressive performances during summer league and AAU play. How did that help your overall belief that you could do damage at the D1 level?
RP - Well I showed I can play and compete against the best prospects in the DMV and throughout the country. So it allowed me to gain that killer instinct.
FM - With the commitment does that change your plans to attend prep school after you graduate from Westlake or will you still look to attend a prep school?
RP - Yes it does change my plans! UMass has things in place for me to develop and make a mark my freshman year so I won't be going prep.
FM - You earned all DCIAA first team honors last season at Mckinley Tech, as this season approaches being at a new school in a new league, what are your personal and team goals?
RP - My goals are to win states and get other players on my team looks, such as Aubrey Wallace and others. I also want to win player of the year.
FM - You mentioned the instant connection to UMass Lowell assistant Louis Hinnant who was a standout guard locally at Gwynn Park, on the collegiate level at Boston College and overseas, talk about how he can help your overall game?
RP - Coach Louis is pretty young and he also played the point guard position and thats what they want me to do. Mainly I feel I have someone to lean on from the city.
FM - Lastly, once on campus what are you looking forward to accomplishing over the next four years?
RP - Im looking forward to putting the school on the map, winning freshman of the year, receiving a good education, making it to the NCAA Tournament and the most important thing, graduating.
Perry had a breakout game against DeMatha during summer league action, scoring a game high 26 points against the stags.