Ariece Perkins has a lot on his plate. From early morning practices, to grueling weight room training, and juggling classes, Perkins is a busy man. Perkins is a 5’10”, 175 pound shooting guard on the men’s Tiger basketball team. Last year, he averaged over 11 points a game.
Perkins didn’t come directly to playing division one college basketball.
He took a detour at Feather River Junior College in Quincy, Calif. He took that time to improve his basketball skills in preparation for the next level and all his hard work paid of.
While at Feather River, Perkins was named one of the top 100 players in the history of the school.
He was named First Team All-Conference, and also MVP of a tournament team.
After conquering Feather River, Perkins transferred to Grambling State to play point guard under basketball Coach Rick Duckett.
Basketball keeps him motivated.
“It’s my dream and I’m going to keep chasing it,” Perkins said.
A spiritual man, Perkins prays and makes calls to his mother for guidance.
The men’s basketball team has been in the news lately, but Perkins isn’t fazed.
“From losing a teammate to a new coaching arrangement, our team as a whole has been faced with adversity, but we are getting through it.
Coach Bobby Washington is really helping us out with everything,” Perkins said.
Perkins also explained that understanding game regulations make things run more smoothly.
In his free time, he enjoys camaraderie with his teammates and playing 2K10 on the Xbox 360.
“I love them all (my teammates). We’re a family. We’re all there for each other and are willing to go the extra mile.”
“Ariece is great,” said George Akpele, Perkins’ teammate.
” He is a very hard worker and he pushes everybody on the team to get better.”
Before a basketball game, Perkins said his normal routine includes a shower and music.
“I don’t want to hear anything but my music,” Perkins said with laughter. He likes to listen to Lil Wayne and Lil Boosie.
He referred to Lil Wayne as being his favorite rapper and Lil’ Boosie as his “hype man.”
The team will play their first game on November 17 against Centenary in the Assembly Center.
They will also host Paul Quinn College on Nov.19. After two straight home games to open the season, the Tigers will have six straight road games.
With the beginning of a new season, Perkins and the basketball team are looking to put their tumultuous offseason and their 6-23 season last year, in the rear view mirror.
Perkins admits that the team will be ready when the season tips of in 12 days.
“By November 17 we will be where we need to be,” Perkins stated.
He also said that the team will be better than last year and hopefully will even make it to the SWAC championships.
Perkins aspires to get a workout or tryout with a professional basketball team upon graduation.
However, he does have backup plans of working with the DEA, being a probation officer, or being a mentor for younger kids, trying to make his community a better place.
With a focused state of mind and immense drive, any of Perkins’ dreams can become a reality.
Imani Jackson contributed to this story.