Former Pueblo Hoops Star Michael Perez is on his way to St. John’sby Andy Morales on Jul. 13, 2010, under Sports
Michael Perez is on his way to St. John’s.
Then: Perez graduated from Pueblo this spring with a slim at chance at a walk-on position at UTEP.
Now: After impressing the school from the mighty Big East at an AAU tournament in Long Beach this past weekend, Steve Lavin offered him a spot and Perez accepted the offer almost immediately.
According to his father who emailed me late in the night with the good news, Perez was playing for the Compton Magic at the Full-Court Press All-West Camp when Lavin noticed him.
Perez was the TucsonCitizen.com 4A-I Southern Arizona Player of the Year and was on the All-State second team for the same division.
Previous reports have offers from Central Arizona and a little interest from UTEP. With the hiring of Lavin, this commitment rivals that of Terrell Stoglin (Santa Rita) who is on his way to Maryland of the ACC.
In seven seasons at UCLA, Lavin’s teams made five appearances in the Sweet 16 (Elite Eight 1997).
One wonders if former Arizona assistant coach Mike Dunlap had a say in offering Perez a scholarship. Dunlap was part of the staff that took Arizona to the Sweet 16 in 2009 when Perez was a junior and is now an assistant coach at St. John’s. Maybe he picked up an afternoon newspaper that year?
To leap from a junior college offer to a Big East offer is par for the course for a player like Perez who can jump out of a building. The 6’3″ guard averaged 29 points last year and has won a couple of dunking contests along the way.
Having played my high school basketball in the Washington, DC area, my only advice for Perez is that he will need his jumping ability and he will need a few good winter jackets and he will also need to find a good Mexican restaurant. The North East will seem like another world.
Make us proud!