On Jan. 21 Tori DePerry, senior psychology major and starting forward of SVSU’s women’s basketball team, reached a pivotal point in her basketball career: She scored her 1,000th career point.
“I felt very proud of myself for accomplishing my goal of reaching 1,000 collegiate career points,” DePerry said.
“I felt even better having my teammates next to me and my family from out of state watching the game.”Against Lake State Superior University, DePerry reached a milestone in her career that many find unattainable in college.
Jennifer Pruett, the women’s basketball coach, explained DePerry’s strengths on the court:
“Tori is that person that you hate to play against in practice but are so thankful that she is on your team come game time,” she said. “She plays with so much passion and determination on the court and she has fun doing it. I know to her that it doesn’t mean anything if she can’t have fun withher best friends on the court.”
It took DePerry many hours on court to accomplish this feat. She began playing for SVSU’s basketball team her freshman year and has appeared in every game since.
“It took a lot of long nights in the gym, hours in the dark, waking up and not wanting to train but doing it because it will pay off,” she said. “A lot of sacrifices were made in terms of having to be away from family but knowing that I am in the right spot and the journey has been nothing short of special. From achieving this goal in high school and to now do so in college feels surreal.”
Before SVSU, she played basketball in her hometown of Wisconsin at Shawano Community High School. She joined the varsity team as a freshman.
“I chose SVSU because it felt like a home away from home. Being eight hours from my hometown isn’t easy but Saginaw holds a special place in my heart. The team culture and the work ethic I saw go on at SVSU made it an easy choice to commit,” she said. “Along with being able to gain a full ride scholarship to ease the worries off of my parents from paying for my college was a special moment for me. Seeing them be proud of me made committing to SVSU for basketball special.”
Her basketball career began even before high school; she played on her first team in first grade. She has her family of athletes to thank for influencing her to play basketball as a child, she said.
“I know that nothing means more to Tori than playing the game she loves with the people that she loves,” Pruett said. “She is a great basketball player but an even more incredible person.”
Spending her entire life playing the sport, she required support from family and friends throughout her basketball career to reach her goals.
“My incredible support from my family ever since I touched a basketball [helped me reach this milestone], especially my dad who trained me and my mom who has shown nothing but love and support as well as my teammates from middle school all the way to college.
My coaches who took a chance on a kid from Wisconsin have also helped me. It feels amazing to be able to have a great support system.”
Not only did she need support to reach these heights, but she spent 20-30 hours a week in the gym practicing She worked hard by watching film of the team and putting in extra shots with her coach.
“The game has shaped me into an incredible leader and woman. I am the person I am today because of basketball, and I know that because of the game I will be able to overcome any challenge and/or obstacle thrown my way,” DePerry said. “I have become mentally and physically tougher because of the game along with learning many life lessons that I will take with me after my time being a student athlete is done.”