Shooting guard Lionel Perkins had a good season for Bel Air last year, averaging 13.1 points per game, but he wanted to contribute more this season.
So Perkins went to work, putting in tireless hours throughout the summer. The work paid off, as Perkins has improved to averaging 19.1 points per game and combines with top-scorer Donn Hill (20.1) in giving the Bobcats a tough duo to defend.
Perkins is considering playing basketball at colleges such as McDaniel, Villa Julie and Salisbury, and wants to be a sports trainer.
What did you do differently in your workouts this summer?
I worked a lot harder. I tried to lift as many weights as possible to get myself ready for the season and condition myself for the season. Last year I worked like three hours a day, and this year it was about six hours a day.
When did you notice a difference in your game?
During [Amateur Athletic Union] games first. Last year in AAU, I was doing all right, but this year I was more explosive. I felt quicker this year. I was working real hard and I expected it. I was working hard because in the fourth quarter, I wanted everyone to be huffing and puffing, and I would be fine.
What did you tell coach Nate Weigl before the season began?
I told him that I would be more ready to play this season, and that I would be a more of a leader this season. He said that's what we need on the team, and that if I was a leader on the team everyone would follow me.
What's been the biggest change for you during the high school season?
Basically I'm shooting better. I'm just taking what the defense gives me. Last year, I was trying to force it a lot. This year, I'm letting the game come to me.
What makes you and Donn Hill such a good 1-2 punch?
It's kind of because we play a lot together. We kind of know what each other does. If I have an off night, he'll step up, and if he has an off night, I'll step up. We've been playing together for about two or three years now, and we just know each other.
What's in your CD player right now?
I just listen to straight rap, a little R&B.; For rap, I like Lil' Wayne. For R&B;, I don't have a favorite. I listen to them all.
Who's your favorite basketball player?
I really like Dwyane Wade. He just never quits on the court. He's the kind of player I want to be because of how hard he plays.
What's your favorite class in school?
I like math. I'm in trigonometry right now and it really interests me. It takes a while to do the homework, though.
If you could sit down and talk to anyone in the world, who would it be?
Michael Jordan. He's just the greatest player who ever played the game. I never saw him play, but he was just amazing. I've seen his videos. The moves he did were just mind-blowing.
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
Probably still trying to play basketball in some form and trying to get a job in sports medicine. I'll never give up basketball. I just like it too much.