Milan’s Nick Perkins plays professional basketball in Italy
Basketball allowed Nick Perkins to see the world – at least in part.
He was part of a state championship basketball team in Milan high school.
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This led to a scholarship offer from the University of Buffalo, where Perkins was twice named the sixth man of the year in the Mid-American Conference.
This led to a year of professional play in Japan.
After the league was shut down by COVID 19 last year, Perkins was fortunate enough to land a berth in the Italian League this year.
âIt’s a better brand of basketball (than Japan). This will allow me to further develop my game, âsaid Perkins.
He’s averaging 13.2 points and 6 rebounds per game for a team that is second in the 15-team league with less than a regular season week to go.
âThe main difference here is the pace of the game,â he said. âI have to learn and improve every year. Basketball is about the same, but my basketball IQ has improved. So I learned to get to my spots. There are a lot of good American players. here.
He had a goal for years playing in the NBA and that hasn’t changed since he was in Milan.
âWhen I graduated, I received offers from most of the 10 schools in Central America and the Atlantic. I knew Nate Oates well because he had coached at Romulus and I felt comfortable with him, âPerkins said of the Buffalo coach.
The Bulls had remarkable success and Perkins earned a degree in health and social services with a minor in counseling.
âJapan was cool,â he said of his freshman year after college. âThe food. The simplicity of the Japanese way of life. The sushi. But I got a better deal to play in Italy. The competition is better and I thought it was a good way for me to m ‘improve.
âEvery day is a difficult task. Sometimes God gives you a different route. I know I have the ability. It’s just a matter of developing it and having a good agent. I have a good one. He knew my family and found me.
Perkins is from Saginaw and is the second oldest of four boys. When he was in fifth grade, the boys moved with their mother Judith to Ypsilanti.
He is now 24 years old and has a wife, Ashley, and a 19 month old daughter, Nylah.
âLife is good. I feel blessed,” said Perkins. “I can’t complain. I play professional basketball and the Italian food is very good. Italians eat late at night and their most important meal is in the middle of the day. Everything stops between noon and 3 p.m. “