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'An unbelievable feeling': Mott-Regent’s Perkins signs to play basketball at Bismarck State

Just three weeks removed from being named Region 7 Boys Basketball Senior Athlete of the Year, Mott-Regent forward Cody Perkins has decided that he wants to continue to play his favorite sport collegiately.

Mott-Regent senior forward Cody Perkin, right, poses with Bismarck State Men's Basketball Buster Gilliss on Thursday, March 28. Perkins will play basketball for the Mystics next season. Courtesy of Dee Bertsch / Bismarck State College
Mott-Regent senior forward Cody Perkin, right, poses with Bismarck State Men's Basketball Buster Gilliss on Thursday, March 28. Perkins will play basketball for the Mystics next season. Courtesy of Dee Bertsch / Bismarck State College

Just three weeks removed from being named Region 7 Boys Basketball Senior Athlete of the Year, Mott-Regent forward Cody Perkins has decided that he wants to continue to play his favorite sport collegiately.

After receiving several offers from various suitors, the 6-foot-3 senior signed his letter of intent to play basketball at Bismarck State College on Thursday, March 28.

"It's always been a goal of mine to make it to the college level," Perkins said. "I've always worked pretty hard and put in countless hours and countless camps. Almost like a sponge, I tried to soak up everything that I can to become the best player that I can be. It's just an unbelievable feeling to be signed as a collegiate athlete."

Perkins said competing at the next level didn't become a realistic possibility until he began playing AAU ball prior to his junior year. Since then, he has been selected to the All-Region 7 team in each of the last two years. Leading the Wildfire to a 13-9 record and first-round bye in the 2019 Region 7 Tournament, he averaged 21.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists en route to a spot on the Class B All-State team.

The University of Jamestown was in talks with the forward about joining its basketball program, but even with all of his accolades, Perkins' athletic talent exceeds beyond the hardwood. He received interest from Minnesota State University Moorhead to play football, and from Valley City State University and Dakota Wesleyan University (S.D.) for track, but he ultimately welcomed the idea of playing under Mystics head coach Buster Gilliss.

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"He had talked to Coach Gilliss several times, went up for a visit or two," said Cody's father, Mott-Regent head coach Pat Perkins. "He really liked the atmosphere of the program, liked Coach Gilliss' philosophy, liked the team concept instead of the player concept that Coach Gilliss likes to put together. ... It felt like home to him. He's stepping up from Mott-Regent, but it's the same kind of team philosophy and team concept, and I think that's what appealed to him the most."

Interested in electrical line work after school, Perkins was further intrigued by the academic programs Bismarck State had to offer.

As far as how he will fit in with the team on the floor, Perkins sees himself as a shooting guard or a small forward. At the high school level, he was very comfortable operating from the wing but was big and strong enough to play inside and protect the paint on the defensive end. With the step up in competition and facing players that are bigger, stronger and taller, the future Mystic may be best suited on the perimeter. Nonetheless, Perkins is not picky.

"I'll go wherever coach tells me to go and I'll do it to the best of my ability," Perkins said.

The campus at Bismarck State is roughly a 90-minute drive from the Mott-Regent area. Perkins said that playing close to home was always in the back of his mind, and now that it's a reality, he gets to remain close to the area that has helped him through this journey.

"I've had people all day (Friday) and I received texts (Thursday) night telling me congratulations," Perkins said. "I've had people come up to me and people come up to my parents and tell us congratulations. It's been an honor and been a lot of fun to be a part of such a great community."

As one journey begins for Cody, one comes to an end for Pat. Coaching his child throughout his life and on the high school level this past year, Pat is incredibly proud of his son, but says that the next chapter comes with mixed emotions.

"As a parent, you realize that this is probably the last time that you're going to have very much to do with his basketball career," Pat Perkins said. "You're excited for him, but it's kind of bittersweet because I won't get to work with him on a daily basis. We've spent thousands and thousands of hours in the gym, I've rebounded hundreds of thousands of basketballs for him. That's kind of coming to a close, but for a parent, it's exciting to see your son be able to carry on one of his dreams. ... I'm very excited for Cody, but kind of sad for Dad and Mom."

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Mott-Regent senior forward Cody Perkins raises for a lay-up against Hazen during the second half of a Region 7 Tournament quarterfinal on Monday, March 4, from the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press).
Mott-Regent senior forward Cody Perkins raises for a lay-up against Hazen during the second half of a Region 7 Tournament quarterfinal on Monday, March 4, at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press

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