On Thursday, April 7, the University of the Cumberlands men’s basketball program gained a very talented local player when Barbourville High School senior Brentley Perry signed his letter of intent to become a Patriot this fall.
Perry helped lead the Tigers to 14 wins and an appearance in the 13th Region tournament this past season. He and sophomore teammate Markelle Turner proved to be a dangerous combination on the court, with each of them possessing the ability to seemingly score at will.
Lynn Camp Wildcats Head Coach Dinky Phipps, who coached Perry for three of his four seasons at BHS, said, “Brentley is one of those players who always came in and gave 110 percent. He always wanted to be at the top of his game. He was a very fine young man to coach, and I am very happy for him. I’m glad that he is getting this opportunity to move up to the next level and get a college education while continuing to play basketball.”
UC men’s basketball assistant coach Rodney Clarke said of signing Perry, “He is going to be a big time addition to our team. He loves the game, so that should make it much easier for him to catch on. We will look for him to handle the ball a lot on offense, and hopefully be a strong scoring point guard. We think that he will also bring some toughness to the team, being a hard nosed point guard who is able to step up and make shots.”
“Not only is he a good player,” Clarke continued. “But he is also a good person. He is really the ideal type of player that we look to bring in. He has good character, and he is somebody that will be looked at to represent us the right way. We’re excited about bringing him in.”
When asked about his feelings on becoming a Patriot, Perry said, “I have always wanted to go to Cumberlands. That has been my dream. Coach [Donnie] Butcher is a great coach, and I love the rest of the coaching staff as well. I understand coming in that I’ll have to work my way up, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Reflecting back on his time as a Tiger, Perry said, “I owe a lot to Dinky Phipps. He coached me for three years here. He taught me a lot about playing the game, and how to be a good person. I have loved playing here. Barbourville High School has been so good to me. I wouldn’t trade my time here for anything.”
Perry is joining a Patriots basketball team that went 24-12 this past season, advancing all the way to the quarterfinals of the NAIA National Championship Tournament.