There are easier boys basketball coaches to play for than Career’s Larry Kelley. He constantly gets after his players to keep performing, virtually every minute of every game. He demands the maximum effort.
On the outside, it looks like a heavy amount of criticism unleashed. But to junior Tyreek Perkins, it’s not a lot to handle and he thrives off of it.
“It’s not as tough as it seems,” Perkins said. “If he is yelling, you need to listen to what he is actually saying. Everything he has told me was never something that was wrong. When he yelled, I always listen to what he had to say. I learned from it as a freshman being around the varsity. Now, when the younger guys ask me about Coach Kelley. I tell them that’s his demeanor on the outside. We are a family in the gym. He is maybe the coolest person I know.”
That relationship helps Perkins be one really cool customer on the court. He was among the New Haven County area scoring leaders at 19.0 ppg. to earn Register Area MVP honors.
“I think he gets what I am all about, what I expect from him and there is a whole lot of trust there,” Kelley said. “I don’t expect him to be perfect all the time but for the most part, he gets it.”
Perkins, a two-time All-Area performer, is a quality performer in the classroom as well. He said he has a 3.6 grade point average, is considering a career in accounting and has already taken a marketing class at Career.
His academic criteria can only help him earn more interest at the next level. He said he has received interest from Yale, Sacred Heart and Quinnipiac so far. That interest should only increase coming off a banner junior season.
“He has to do more this summer than just AAU,” Kelley said. “He has to work on his game, he has to work in the weight room and he needs to go play pickup ball against college players.”
Career went 24-4 and was undefeated in the Southern Connecticut Conference Oronoque Division. The Panthers beat Fairfield Prep for the SCC tournament title and advanced to the Class L state tournament semifinals.
“We had great chemistry. It was like our own little family this year,” Perkins said. “It was a great season. I really can’t get mad about the loss (to Naugatuck in the L semifinals). I couldn’t blame anyone. We played our hearts out and had a wonderful season.”
The 6-foot-1, 165-pound Perkins was also named the MVP for the SCC this season. That recognition came before the Panthers’ 81-59 victory over Fairfield Prep in the SCC tournament final. It was sweet for Career after losing twice to the Jesuits during the regular season.
“We played with a chip on our shoulder,” Perkins said. “We felt like that was our best game of our season. We felt like that right there was a state tournament championship game.”
Career lost to Windsor in the 2014 Class L state final, so the only thing missing from Perkins’ resume is a state championship. The Panthers lose starters Tyrell Eaddy, a guard, and forward Justin Campbell, but could have others ready to step in.
“We will be just fine going into next year,” said Perkins, who turns 19 on July 1. “I have to work on being a better leader and work on running the point (guard position) because that will probably happen a lot next year. I have a good feeling (about next season).”
Said Kelley: “He has the work ethic. He needs to continue to listen to the people around him. Success is like being poor one day and being rich the next. How do you handle it? With the success he had this year, he has to be ready to take it because they will go after him. What better player to measure yourself against in the SCC than Tyreek Perkins?”
More New Haven Register All-Star Teams
- All-Area Boys Track :: Akiel Smith MVP
- All-Area Girls Track :: Danae Rivers MVP
- All-Area Wrestling :: Chidi Broderick MVP
- All-Area Gymnastics :: Abby McGuirk MVP
- All-Area Girls Basketball :: Maura Fitzpatrick MVP
- All-State Girls Basketball :: Kiah Gillespie MVP
- All-State Boys Basketball :: Mustapha Heron MVP
- All-Area Boys Basketball :: Tyreek Perkins MVP
- All-Area Hockey (coming soon)
- All-State Hockey (coming soon)
- All-Area Swimming (coming soon)