Tavian Percy: Being a freshman is not an excuse

Tavian Percy: Being a freshman is not an excuse

Isabel Gonzalez

He might be young, but his hunger for success feeds his perseverance to succeed … and will hopefully gain him a couple pounds.

Tavian Percy is one of the new faces that have begun training under UNM head coach Paul Weir this summer. On April 12th, Compton Magic announced through Twitter that Percy would be visiting New Mexico.

He arrived on the 13th, the announcement of an offer came on the 14th, and it only took a couple hours for Percy to accept. Was it easy for him to picture himself in New Mexico? It sure was.

“We were coming down the hallway and I just looked straight up and saw how high the gym was, so many stands,” he said. “I was just thinking about how many people can be in here. They say like 16,000 people and I’m just thinking about how loud it’s going to be. I’m just excited for it. I’m ready for the season.”

The incoming freshman averaged 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals during the 2017-2018 season at Pasadena High School in California. However, this is a whole new level for Percy and he needs to prepare accordingly.

Paul Weir has made it clear that his team’s style of play tests players’ athletic abilities and commitment. He’s also said several times that he knows it might not be for everyone.

“Everyone says they want to do it,” the coach said. “It’s when they get here and they actually start going through it that the friction begins…not everybody might make it.”

But Percy has already began workouts and said he feels confident that this is what he wants to do.

“I’m going to do whatever it takes for me to be the best I can be in this system,” Percy said. “I’m going to be in the gym and running, as much running as I can. I have to be in the best shape. There is no excuses for a freshman. Just because I’m a freshman and I’m 17, it doesn’t matter. I have to go ahead and do my thing.”

The team is working out together but each player also has individual goals they need to complete by the time the fall season begins, for example, Ohio State transfer JaQuan Lyle is currenty working on losing weight.

Meanwhile, the coaching staff has Percy doing the opposite of Lyle. The 6’6” guard said he currently weights 196.4 pounds and his goal is to hit 200 pounds by the end of the summer. Percy explained that the staff has him in the weight room almost everyday for an hour, but he also does his own workouts and takes supplements, vitamins and protein shakes.

“We have a nice lady over here who makes you shakes all the time,” he said, then laughed when asked if they taste good. “I mean sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t, but I have to take them.”

While the team hasn’t been together for very long yet, Percy said he already feels chemistry between his teammates and considers many of them his friends. One in particular stands out: Anthony Mathis.

This answer wasn’t surprising due to the fact that when Percy announced he was coming to New Mexico, Mathis commented on this Twitter post welcoming his “lil bro.”

“He’s pushed me a lot,” Percy said about Mathis. “He makes me guard him in the scrimmages so I can get better. I just look up to him. He’s basically an older brother to me.”