PETALING JAYA: National men’s basketball team coach Goh Cheng Huat sprang a huge surprise with the late inclusion of Perry Lim (pic) to the KL SEA Games squad.
So, who is Perry?
The six-foot-five (1.95m) Perry hails from Illinois, United States, and is a chemistry undergraduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The 19-year-old’s parents are from Penang and he is set to be the first American-born Malay-sian to play for the national team.
His inclusion couldn’t have been more timely as he will certainly strengthen Malaysia’s bid for a medal.
Perry’s father – Billy – used to be a state and national player before moving to the US, where he now works as a professor at the Illinois State University.
Perry, who plays as a power forward, is grateful to be given the chance to don national colours.
“I actually received an offer from the national team two years ago, but it clashed with my academic year,” said Perry.
“I was lucky that everything fell in place when I was back for the summer this time to try out for the team.
“It’s really an amazing opportunity as my team-mates and the coaching staff are so welcoming, especially coach Goh.
“I just want to make the best of this opportunity and see where it takes me.”
Perry, who took up the game at five and played through middle and high schools, however, played down the hype surrounding him.
“I know there’s expectations on me but it’s the team that matters. I’m definitely not the best player on the team,” said Perry.
“I know what I can offer to the team. I am going for the rebounds, put in the hustle and basically outwork everyone. I can bring some positive attitude to the floor.”
Perry is set to make his debut when the 12-member team head for a playing tour of New Zealand, where they will play six matches against club sides in Auckland, Whanganui, Hawera, New Plymouth and Tauranga from July 18-30.
In the SEA Games, Malaysia are in Group A with defending champions the Philippines, Thailand and Myanmar.