The four-year starter from Youngstown State is now entering his ninth year as an overseas pro and has greatly enhanced his global profile this month with his play in Eurobasket 2022 tournament.
Perry, a 6-foot guard who plays taller than he stands, helped lead Montenegro’s national team, one of Europe’s smallest nations, to a 3-3 record and a 13th-place finish in the continental championship, which featured support from back-to-back NBA MVP Nikola Jokic (Serbia), two-time MVP Janis Antecumba (Greece), likely future MVP Luka Doncic (Slovenia) and three-time MVP Rudy Gobert (France).
Perry tied for the tournament lead in steals with 13, finished 4th in assists and was one of the top 25 scorers in the 24-nation tournament. He averaged 15.2 points and 7.2 assists and scored 25 points in a Round of 16 loss to Germany, ahead of NBA guard Dennis Schroder (22 points).
“Obviously, this is the biggest stage he’s been able to play on,” said Edgewater coach Jason Atherton, who was an assistant in Perry’s senior season with the Eagles (2009-10). “Kendrick bounced around there, but he’s consistently worked his way up to different levels in Europe.”
Perry received a Montenegrin passport this year. This allowed him to represent the nation as the only “naturalized” player allowed.
Montenegro lost to champion Spain 82-65, Germany 85-79 and Turkey 72-68, who had Dr. Phillips legend Shane Larkin in his rear area.
After averaging 22.2 points as a senior, Perry signed a contract with an Australian professional club. In the 2014-15 season, he played nine games for the Iowa Wolves of the NBA G-League before embarking on a career in Europe.
He is set to play next season at new club Unicaja Balanchesta Malaga in Spain, after also training for teams in France, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia and Slovenia.
“Kendrick comes back every summer,” Atherton said. “He’s in our gym. He spoke to our teams countless times.”
Perry recovered from a leg (shin) injury to become a second-team all-state selection despite playing in the shadow of guards Austin Rivers (Winter Park) and Larkin, both named first-team all-state selections as juniors that season.
Larkin, also 29, averaged 9.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in five EuroBasket pool games, but was bothered by a right hand injury. According to published reports, he withdrew from the tournament to undergo surgery.
Lake Howell graduate 33-year-old Euro veteran Nick Kalates averaged 8.1 points, 5 assists and 3.1 rebounds for Greece, which went 6-1 but was ousted by host Germany in the quarterfinals despite Antetokounmpo has 31 points.