Early signing period begins for high school athletes to ink scholarship deals
It seems like forever ago when Battle Ground standout Kaden Perry announced that he would play basketball at Gonzaga University.
Today, he gets to sign.
“It’s always been official,” he said, confirming that he never wavered about his decision. “But it’s going to be official.”
Athletes in many NCAA sports can sign in the early period, beginning Wednesday. Football players must wait until December.
At least three girls basketball players from Clark County are expected to sign with Division-I programs this week. Faith Bergstrom of Camas is heading to Cal Poly, Jaydia Martin of Hudson’s Bay is going to go to Eastern Washington University, and Skylar Bea of Washougal is signing with Idaho.
The biggest signing of the year, maybe this century, for Clark County basketball is Perry, the 6-9 post who can play inside and outside. Ranked among the ESPN’s top 100 players in the country, he made his announcement that it would be Gonzaga in June of 2019.
Some 17 months later, he is expected to sign with the top-ranked team in the nation as Gonzaga prepares to play the 2020-21 season.
“Hopefully we’ll be just as strong,” Perry said Tuesday, referring to when he gets to Gonzaga, next season.
As far as the present, Perry said he is still hoping that he will get a senior season of basketball with Battle Ground. Washington high school sports have been put on hold by the government’s reaction to the pandemic. There is the possibility that basketball practice will start after Christmas, but no one knows yet when, or if, a season will occur.
“It sucks. You want to go out with a bang before you go off to college,” Perry said. “I’m hoping that there’s something. Even if we don’t have as many games, at least do something for my senior year.”
While all athletes are having to adapt to uncertain schedules, the special talents still have that special opportunity on Signing Day.
“It’s the start of something new, a big step,” Perry said. “Not as big as stepping on campus. But now they can tell me what they want me working on. It’s a new chapter.”
Perry helped Battle Ground reach the Tacoma Dome, the final 12, the past two years.
Bergstrom said she intends to sign with the Cal Poly Mustangs. The 6-3 post helped the Papermakers to the round of 12 in the Tacoma Dome last season. Camas made it to the state regionals in 2019.
Martin helped the Eagles to the state regionals her sophomore year then to the state round of 12 in the Tacoma Dome last year. She is signing with Eastern Washington.
Skylar Bea helped Washougal to a state title in 2019. She is signing with Idaho, joining older sister Beyonce with the Vandals.
Note: This story focuses on Division-I basketball signees. We hope to have another story on the Division-I athletes in other sports as signings become official. To report Division-I signings, please reach out to Paul Valencia at Paul.V@clarkcountytoday.com