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Tavian Percy: The Adjustment From High School to College

Photo Courtesy of Roberto E. Rosales/Journal

The high school career of Tavian Percy was a complete success. From scratching the surface at Miami Palmetto High, to leading Oldsmar Christian School to an SIAA State Championship as a junior, to making the move to Pasadena, California, and going to work against the best programs in the country.

However, the transition from high school to college basketball at the University of New Mexico was not all that smooth for Percy.

When asked what the hardest part about adapting to the college lifestyle, Percy replied, “I feel like time management, a lot of people don’t talk about that but time management is a big thing in college.”

As a college freshman, all newcomers have to get adjusted to the team’s system, the speed of the game, and the environment, all while having to excel in the classroom.

For Percy, born and raised in Miami, Florida, it took him some time. When asked what his schedule looked like as a freshman, he replied, “I’d get up at 5:45 a.m. because I had a 6:15 a.m. lift, then I would have class at 10:00 a.m., so I would shower at the gym, get on the bus to go to school, go to school, then come back and go straight to study hall and try to get work done before practice. I’d go to practice, then after I would have treatment, and then go back to study hall to finish all my work.”

Tavian Percy, right, reaches for a rebound at UNM practice (Photo Courtesy of Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

On the court, it took a toll on the 6-foot-6 guard’s productivity, as he averaged just 7.3 minutes while struggling to hit shots, shooting 29.4 percent from the field and 25 percent from beyond the arc.

But as he adjusted, the college game got easier for Percy. As a sophomore, he played over 10 minutes a game and his shooting percentages skyrocketed. He shot 51.7 percent and 42.9 percent from three.

When asked what changed from year one to year two, Percy replied, “It’s not even a secret, it’s just getting in the gym. I spent a lot more time in the spring and the summer just in the gym shooting more because my shot was bad at first but I ended up shooting over 50 percent.”

UNM Tavian Percy, right, shoots over his defender (Photo courtesy of Adolphe Pierre-Louis)

As a Miami native, he wants to make sure the city’s future college basketball players don’t have to go through what he experienced.

When asked what he has for any incoming college freshman, Percy replied, “Make sure you get the right fit, don’t settle for anything, don’t go for names, rankings, all that. I would say focus on what best fits you and make the best out of your opportunities. If you get an opportunity you have to make the best out of it, if you don’t the next man is up. It’s a business, different from high school.”

Moving forward, Percy entered the transfer portal this offseason and went with Weber State as his next destination. Once the home of NBA All-Star Damian Lillard, Percy comes into the program with the same chip on his shoulder, ready to prove everyone wrong and win a Big Sky Conference championship.

When asked about how he feels about the culture at Weber State, he replied, “It keeps me motivated, I just know that nothing is given, so I know what I got to do and what my team wants to do, so we’re ready.”

This past season, the Wildcats finished the season with a 12-20 overall record. Percy joins a Weber State team that now has eight committed incoming transfers this offseason for head coach Randy Rahe. He’ll need a transfer waiver to be immediately eligible in 2020.

In the meantime, Percy continues to work in order to reach his end goal of playing professional basketball.

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