VIdeo Spotlight - Mark Perrin


LANGLEY, British Columbia - Mark Perrin has always been an entertainer.

He’s an excitable character with a contagious laugh and a flair for the flashy on the basketball court.

If there’s one player on this year’s Trinity Western men’s basketball team to lift you from your seat, the Toronto born and raised guard will be that guy.

While Perrin is more than happy to provide a spark and be that energy guy with a robust repertoire of fanciful tricks – just wait, you’ll get to see them soon enough – prior to his arrival at Trinity Western his drive-and-dunk street-ball style was more out of necessity than anything else.

When no one was paying attention, it was his way of getting noticed. And for the better part of his young career, earning notoriety was his biggest issue.

After playing his high school basketball at Crawford Adventist Academy – a small Seventh Day Adventist private school in the North York region of Toronto – Perrin didn’t receive even so much as a sniff from post-secondary schools. His childhood dream of making it to the National Basketball Association appeared, at the very least, on hold.

“I didn’t have one single look coming out of high school,” Perrin said. “It hurt.”

So what did he do?

He entertained.

Two years after his high school graduation, Perrin was playing in a summer basketball tournament. It was there where his appetite for generating on-court excitement was finally noticed. Toronto-based Humber College, a school that plays in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association, was interested. But even then, that fall, Perrin essentially arrived at Humber as a walk-on.

In his first two practices, he impressed the coaching staff enough to stick around but, early on, not enough to start.

“It was something I had to deal with because I thought I should be starting,” Perrin said. “But we were winning so I had to accept my role.”

So what did he do?

He entertained.

Coming off the bench for Humber, it was all he could do.

“I knew fans liked to see me dunk and go strong to the basket every time,” said Perrin, who still averaged 13.2 points per game in two years of largely coming off the bench. “They loved to see me running the floor. So that’s what I did. I thought I could do a lot of other things but I only had a certain amount of time, so I thought I would get people talking about myself. The best way I could do that was to entertain them and it worked.”

Averaging 12.9 points per game and 5.9 rebounds per game in his second and what would be final year at Humber, he was named an OCAA West Division Second Team All-Star. Then in the OCAA Championship tournament, he took his game to yet another level. While Humber ended up losing 89-86 to Mohawk in the championship contest, Perrin was not only a tournament all-star but he was also named Humber’s player of the game in the gold medal match after registering 33 points. Suddenly, he was doing a whole lot more than providing a flicker and a flash. He was proving there was plenty of substance to his show.

“I knew it was the finals and no matter what I did, my coach couldn’t take me off,” Perrin said recalling his final game at the collegiate level. “It was the first time I could breathe and not always look over my shoulder.”

All this caught the eye of Spartans coach Scott Allen.

While it was a bittersweet end to his time at Humber, for Perrin – the Hawks run of three straight provincial titles came to an end on his watch – he figured he was ready for the next level.

When Allen came calling, it was the realization he had finally proven his worth.

“At Humber, I was just supposed to come off the bench and put a spark into the team,” Perrin said. “Not starting was really hard to deal with. But I think everything happens for a reason and now that I’m at Trinity Western I have this hunger.”

And it’s a hunger to perform on the basketball court that has been percolating since he was shooting on Fisher Price hoops.

“Growing up in Toronto, it’s a basketball city,” said Perrin, who was raised in Etobicoke. “From when I was young, I just grew up playing basketball. I loved watching the sport. I loved Michael Jordan.”

It didn’t take Perrin long to move from the plastic rims to the 10-foot metal variety. And with that, his love for the sport only deepened.

After leaving Crawford Adventist on more than one occasion in search of a bigger school with brighter basketball lights, by the time Perrin was in Grade 9, he was back at the school where he had originially started attending in Grade 1.

“I think going back to Crawford, was the best thing,” said Perrin, who grew up in a devout Seventh Day Adventist family.

While in high school, he was named the team’s MVP in each of his final four years and helped his school to a district championship in both Grade 11 and 12.

Unfortunately for Perrin, all those accolades didn’t get him on the path he had hoped. But that only fueled his passion to improve his God-given gifts.

Now four years after graduating from high schoool, he’s finding his way up the basketball ladder.

And the latest rung he’s climbed is his earning of a starting spot at the CIS level.

“He’s an extremely explosive athlete,” Allen said. “He’s very hard to stop in transition because he’ll get to the rim no matter what. As he learns about what’s a good shot and what’s a bad shot and relying on his teammates, he’ll turn into a really valuable player for us.

“He brings energy to this team and he’s the vocal leader of this team. He puts gasoline to the fire and gets things going for us.”

And, of course, what else will he do?

He’ll entertain.
 
Both off the court and, as Spartans fans will soon find out, on the court.

-TW-

Last Updated: 2012-11-03
Author: Mark Janzen