The simplest of questions Manny Melo asked brought out the swiftest of answers.
Is Kaden Perry, Battle Ground High’s 6-foot-9 junior who is committed to Gonzaga for the recruiting class of 2021, the most sought-after, highly-touted boys basketball player to come out of Southwest Washington?
Future NBA players Dan Dickau (Prairie High) and Richie Frahm (Battle Ground) played at Gonzaga. So did Mountain View’s Derek Raivio. Most recently, Robert Franks (Evergreen), out of Washington State, got signed by the Charlotte Hornets and plays in the NBA G League.
At 16 years old, and in this new age of recruiting, Perry might already be. Melo, Battle Ground’s third-year head coach, got his answer from his own staff. Gregg Kalian, a longtime Clark County basketball coach, one-time Battle Ground head coach, and around Clark County basketball since playing for Battle Ground in the 1970s, told him yes.
“It’s crazy the amount of eyes that have been on (Perry) the last three years,” Melo said.
Melo estimated he fielded calls from 20 college programs, and constantly had coaches sit in on practices and workouts.