Kentucky High School basketball is different in most states where they allow middle school athletes in 7th grade and above to play varsity athletics. The state of Kentucky is accustomed to 8th graders starring in roles as varsity basketball players but it is rare that a 7th grader has an immediate impact. This year the state of Kentucky is seeing two 7th graders star for their respective high school teams in Blake Reed of Augusta High School and Travis Perry of Lyon County High School.
Reed and Perry both checked in our 2024 national player rankings inside the top 100. Travis Perry was ranked the #3 overall player while Blake Reed was ranked #65 nationally. Even though both inside the top 100, how they got there was very different. Perry has been a national name for three years starring in every national AAU event and winning 99.9% of them with either the West Kentucky Wildcats or T.J. Ford Vick 4 Kids program. Reed, hasnt played in as many national events but instead has caught our eye playing up one and two grade levels at regional events and standing out with MVP honors at the 2018 Midwest Spotlight Camp as well as top 5 performer at the Nashville regional Camp in 2017.
Travis Perry sent waves around the state during their first scrimmage back in November when he scored 32 points in his first varsity action. Since then Perry has been on a scoring spree all season long putting up numbers not seen by a 7th grader in the state since former NBA lottery pick O.J. Mayo averaged 23.1 for Rose Hill Academy back in 2002. Perry is leading his team in scoring as a 7th grader getting 20.5 points per game. Great body control for a guard who knows how to use angles, Perry is exceptional at getting to the foul line for any player, let alone a 7th grader. Perry gets to the foul line over 7 times a game. If Perry stays healthy, he will have a real shot to break the all time scoring record in Kentucky, which currently is at 4,337 by Kelly Coleman.
Augusta is a small town that sits along the banks of the Ohio River, but is also the home of movie star George Clooney. Reed is arguably the biggest star in the basketball driven community now. Unlike Perry, Entering the season it wasn't a certainty that Reed would see varsity action as they were going to bring him along slow with freshman & JV action. The first intrasquad scrimmage, Reed led both teams in scoring and everyone new his time was now. Reed is a scoring point guard who plays the game the right way, if a man is in front of him he gives the ball up, fills his lane and looks for the reversal. One of the most dynamic scorers in the country when playing his own grade, Reed is averaging 10.6 ppg on the season, 15.5 since Christmas. As a varsity starter, he is shooting 35% from beyond the arc and has had over 19 points 9 times.
Averaging double figures in a varsity basketball game is an accomplishment for any athlete, but to do it as 7th graders is remarkable. If you live in or near the Bluegrass State I suggest you make plans to see these two play at some point in ther career.
Below is a quick mix of Reed this season and a full game of Perry. To view the boys game of Perry, fast forward to the 1 hour and 43 minute mark to see the beginning.