Koi Perich’s Athleticism and Leadership Shine Through on the Basketball Court

Photo: Alex Kormann - Star Tribune

Four-star football recruit and 3-sport high school athlete Koi Perich, who recently inked a National Letter of Intent with PJ Fleck and the Minnesota Gophers, sees himself as more than a football player. He’s a physical freak and he pretty much knows it. His football coach at Esko High School, Scott Arntson called Koi the most explosive kid he’s ever seen; “It’s not even another gear. It’s something else.”

Related: Gophers Koi Perich Snags Interception, Blocks Punt in All-American Bowl MVP Performance

“I think I’m one of the most athletic kids in the country. Not to be egotistical.”

Koi Perich (via Star Tribune)

Facts cannot be controversial, right? If you’ve watched any of Perich’s highlights on the football field, you will see why he struggles to fathom anybody in the country being a better athlete than he is. But at Esko, he dominates every sport he plays, no matter the shape of the ball.

Gophers football commit Koi Perich puts kid on a poster

In during winter time, it’s the hardwood. We knew Koi was good at basketball but after seeing the clip he uploaded to Twitter last night, of an alley-oop poster during his recent game vs Aitkin, PJ Fleck had better keep men’s basketball coach, Ben Johnson, off the internet.

Esko, who is now 9-3 after a win of Aitkin tonight has been led by Koi Perich all year. Tuesday night was no different. He put up 20 points, which was tied for the team high and Esko walked away with an 86-27 victory, to go along with the poster highlight above.

Can Perich play D1 basketball? I wouldn’t rule it out, but in all likelihood, we’ll never know. He’s football guy through and through. It’s also worth noting that Esko is a smaller town and they play smaller school (AA) competition.

Related: Gophers Fly ‘Row The Boat’ Banner Over Koi Perich State Tournament Game

There are great athletes everywhere, but less of them at small schools. An physical specimen like Perich is going to dominate just about any athletic competition he takes part in. That’s not the way it works in D1 athletics.

That’s part of what should excite Gopher football fans about Koi Perich though. Most superstar football talents don’t stick around high school for their entire senior year anymore. If they can hack it academically, most D1 football players try to enroll in college classes in January so they can partake in spring practices and the spring game. But there was no way Koi was going to take that road.

Koi Perich’s leadership shines through

His grades aren’t a problem. Letting teammates down in his other sports (like basketball) is a problem. Koi isn’t just using basketball to stay in shape and throw down on kids, he’s a natural-born leader. In the same game as the clip from above, with Esko up like 50 midway through the 2nd half, starters were being subbed out for the final time.

A couple of the reserves who were coming in off the bench, failed to give Perich a ‘five’ as they walked by. Not ok. Koi stopped, turned around and yelled for the two kids to come back and take part in team activities. It’s pretty clear he wasn’t leaving the floor until they did.

Related: Gophers New QB Max Brosmer Had So Many Transfer Portal Suitors He Left Most on Read

Athleticism runs in the family, Koi has a couple brothers, including one who currently plays football at Mankato State University, also the same place Vikings legend, Adam Thielen attended. Many Minnesota fans were gobsmacked when Perich kept his commitment to the Gophers, after visiting Ohio State.

Other top schools in the nation were heavily interested too. But Perich decided to stay home and play for PJ Fleck, in part because he wants to be a centerpiece of positive progression in his local college football program. Now that we are getting a better idea of how the youngster ticks, his decision is making more and more sense.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: