Darrius Perryman, whose father and brother were shot and killed in April, leads Clark past North Lawndale

Clark junior Darrius Perryman scored 19 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Eagles to the upset win.

SHARE Darrius Perryman, whose father and brother were shot and killed in April, leads Clark past North Lawndale
Clark’s Darrius Perryan (2) looks on during the game against North Lawndale.

Clark’s Darrius Perryan (2) looks on during the game against North Lawndale.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Clark junior Darrius Perryman had the words of his father running through his head in the fourth quarter of the No. 17 Eagles’ 55-50 win at No. 13 North Lawndale.

Clark coach Terry Head made sure of it. He knew his star guard needed a pick me up.

“He had told me his dad always said to ‘put something on it,’” Head said. “So that is what I started to tell him in the second half. I told him to keep shooting and that I believed in him.”

Perryman was ice cold for most of the game, missing his first nine shots. But then everything started falling and he scored 19 in the fourth quarter to lead his team to the upset win.

The smile on Perryman’s face after the game has been a long time coming. The Perryman family recently experienced two tragedies. James Perryman Sr., Darrius’ father, was shot and killed in April. He was 52. A few days later, James Perryman Jr., Darrius’ brother, was shot and killed. He was 30.

“[My dad] was driving down the block where the gang bangers used to be,” Perryman said. “He stopped at the stop sign and a car came behind him and just started shooting. There were a whole lot of bullet holes in his car. They shot him in the chest and head and his back.

“Then four days later my big brother was killed. He was in the alley fixing his car and he was talking to someone and someone came behind and started shooting at him. I guess it was a setup.”

Perryman said his dad wanted him to play in the NBA but his brother was more concerned with school, encouraging him to make sure he earned A’s and B’s.

“It just motivates me every single day when I think about them,” Perryman said. “I knew I was going to make something happen tonight when it counted.”

Perryman scored a game-high 23 points in his Red-North/West debut.

“I’m so happy for him to get this,” Clark junior Mikqwon Jones said. “ He’s like a brother to me. Whatever he goes through, I’m going through with him.”

Jones finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Every board was a challenge in this game, Jones was up against Phoenix senior Larry Johnson, one of the city’s best rebounders. Johnson stuffed the stat sheet with six points, 15 rebounds, five blocks, four assists and two steals.

“[Johnson] is a great player and my good friend,” Jones said. “So I knew what to expect. I love battling with him.”

North Lawndale (0-1) led 36-32 before Perryman took over in the fourth quarter. Daequan Davis led the Phoenix with 17 points and sophomore Damarion Wyatt added 14.

The win brought on a surge of emotions for Clark (1-0). Watching Perryman succeed after dealing with so much death just made the Eagles’ first Red-North/West victory even sweeter. Clark was promoted after winning the White West last season.

“This is a big deal for us, for Clark to win at North Lawndale,” Head said. “And it was special for [Perryman]. I love him to death. I’ve believed in him since seventh grade. I just had to tell him to calm down and ‘put something on it’ like his dad would have.”

Watch the final minute of Clark at North Lawndale:

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