Athlete Spotlight: Taconic basketball's Isaac Percy '
Isaac Percy turned into Taconic's top offensive weapon during the Braves' postseason run to the MIAA Division II state final. The junior forward scored 99 points through four playoff games, including 30 in the Western Massachusetts title game and 39 in the state semifinals. A few days after the Braves battled TechBoston in Worcester to a 69-54 loss, Percy stopped by The Berkshire Eagle offices for this week's Athlete Spotlight feature. He discussed moving to the Berkshires from North Carolina, Taconic's run to the state championship game, dished on the toughest opponents he faces, gave his NCAA bracket pick and much more.
THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE: What have the past few days been like for you and your teammates after the state championship game?
ISAAC PERCY: The team talked about it after the game and the day after, what happened, what we could've done, what we did well. But it turned into just thinking about all the good times we had this season, how much fun we had and how much we'll miss it.
EAGLE: Your performance in the state semifinal, and in particular that 21-point third quarter, what did you feel?
PERCY: In my head it just kind of clicked. Everything started to fall, and coach Heaphy was letting me do my own thing, which helped me even more with the confidence.
EAGLE: You went iso with a kid for the final possession of the third and dropped in another jumper on him. What was the plan there?
PERCY: It was originally to run a play, then it was more coach saying everybody get out of the way and Isaac go do your thing.
EAGLE: Do you and Mohammed Sanogo go at it at practice? What's it like facing him?
PERCY: We all kind of go at it at practice. We try to push each other more and more so we can get better. We always get the better of each other.
EAGLE: You two are the starting frontcourt, so when did you meet each other?
PERCY: I met him my freshman year, I think at the park where we were both playing. And then I kept seeing him around the YMCA and I remember him telling me he was going to Taconic his sophomore year. Then we just became closer friends the more he played.
EAGLE: As a junior, what stage of the recruitment process are you in right now?
PERCY: For now, I'm just reaching out to coaches, sending them game tape and just telling them who I am. That's the plan right now.
EAGLE: How did you get started with playing serious basketball?
PERCY: I started late fifth grade while living in North Carolina, playing rec basketball and this coach asked me if I wanted to play AAU for his team. I did that and continued on playing with the North Carolina Warriors for a couple years. That was my start, and then playing with other teams all over the country before moving up here for my freshman year of high school.
EAGLE: When you moved here, what did you know about Taconic basketball?
PERCY: I kind of knew about it because my uncles and my dad played at Taconic. I didn't know much about the coaching staff or players, though. I was a freshman on that 20-0 JV team.
EAGLE: What's your favorite place to get shots up out here?
PERCY: Probably the Boys & Girls Club. We also play outside, head to the Common, or Dorothy, sometimes Deming.
EAGLE: Are you playing basketball year-round?
PERCY: Pretty much, with AAU traveling and then training sessions. Then high school starts right after that. Right now I'm playing with Kingsbread. I played with Team Cam last summer, too.
EAGLE: What's the coolest place you've gotten to go play?
PERCY: Probably Las Vegas, at the Adidas Tournament. That was the best experience I've had playing basketball. That was with Garner Road, David West's team out of North Carolina.
EAGLE: Who's the toughest guy you had to defend this year?
PERCY: Dion Brown at Monument Mountain is pretty hard to guard. He's a really good player. And then some of those guys on the TechBoston team, those guys are tough.
EAGLE: Who's the toughest guy to score on?
PERCY: Robert McCown, on our team, is actually really tough to score on. He plays really good defense.
EAGLE: Who do you like in your bracket?
PERCY: I'm a UNC fan, so I definitely want them to win it all, but this year looks like Duke could take this one.
EAGLE: Who do you model your game after?
PERCY: My favorite NBA player is Paul George, so I try to play kind of like him, but I get a lot of comparisons to my uncles, James and Vernon Percy, who played at St. Joe's and Taconic.
EAGLE: What's your go-to restaurant in Pittsfield?
PERCY: Probably Tito's. I actually went there after the state semifinal game. I try to order something different every time I go.
EAGLE: What's your favorite sneaker?
PERCY: My Jordan 11s.
EAGLE: Looking toward next year, what are you looking to improve on?
PERCY: Definitely working on my handle, and then all summer just trying to get bigger and stronger. Really a lot of guard work, developing my guard skillset more.
EAGLE: How do you feel about the Taconic team you have coming back next year?
PERCY: We have a lot of young guys coming up, and I think we'll be able to do big things. I know they're just as hungry as we were this year to make it back to states.
This interview was conducted, edited and condensed by Mike Walsh.
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