Where are they now? Alytrius Perry and Allen Buchanan
It just seems like last year that Alyitrius "Pooh-Nu" Perry and Allen Buchanan were hitting the hardwood at Marked Tree High School leading their perspective teams to victory. Now both players are in their senior year at Williams Baptist College (WBC) after taking different paths to get there.
Perry signed with the University of Arkansas-Monticello (UAM) out of high school and also played at Three Rivers Community College (TRCC) . Buchanan signed with Ouachita Baptist University (OBU) and played three season there before transferring to WBC. Both players were gracious enough to answer a few questions about college and basketball for the paper.
Asked what the difference between high and college basketball, each gave a different answer. Perry said the biggest difference is the players are just as good as you are. "You have to elevate to another level in every game. You have to look for that moment than can make or break a game," Perry said. Buchanan said the speed of the game was the biggest difference to him. "The flow of the game is a lot faster," Buchanan said.
Buchanan said his normal days consists of early morning classes followed by individual workouts with the coach and then team practice that evening. Perry works a job at night and says she comes in and tries to get a nap before morning classes. After class she said there is work out/practice for a few hours and then she hits the books.
Having played at previous schools, they were asked what the difference has been at WBC. "I feel at home at WBC, I've found my happy place," Perry said. While she's not taking anything away form her past experiences at UAM or TRCC, Perry said she feels comfortable. "The staff and coaches here are great. My coach trusts me and understands my game. It's great to have a support system besides my family," Perry added. Buchanan said the biggest difference is the size of the schools. "WBC is so small compared to OBU. I saw somebody new everyday at OBU," Buchanan said.
"I have to be mentally strong and have my priorities in line," was Buchanan's response to juggling school work and basketball. "School and basketball have to come first," Buchanan added. "Pray, and then pray some more," was Perry's first response. Perry said it's a grind. "You have to replace I can't or I won't with I can and I will. You have to push yourself everyday to go to class, the practice and then to work," Perry added.
Asked about the advice they would give to those who had dreams of playing college sports, both had similar answers. "Believe in yourself. Don't let anyone kill your dreams and go hard in both the classroom and on the court," Perry said. "It's not a game, it's hard. You have to be ready to work hard and stay focused on your books," Buchanan said.
Buchanan said he was nervous at his first college game. "I was very nervous, but when I scored that first basket it all went away and I just played basketball. Pooh-Nu said her first game was odd not having her sister on the court. "I kept looking for her on the wing or down low to dump the ball to her then reality hit that she's not here to help me. I wouldn't say I struggled my first year, but I needed her on the court that first season," Perry said.
Perry just recently scored her 500th point at WBC. Perry accomplished the feat in her 39th game for Lady Eagles.
Both of these players were such a joy to watch in high school and the PCDT wishes them the best in their senior seasons of college basketball.