Illini Freshman Forward Zacharie Perrin Leaves Team & Returning to France

Zacharie Perrin leaves the Illini program just over two months after his arrival and enrollment at the University of Illinois.

Matt Stevens, IlliniGuys Staff Writer

February 14, 2023

Zacharie Perrin courtesy Illinois Athletics

Illinois freshman forward Zacharie Perrin has left the basketball program and is returning to his home country of France.

The news of his departure was announced Tuesday evening by team officials less than an hour before the Illini are scheduled to play a Big Ten Conference road game at Penn State.

Perrin joined the Illini roster as a late arrival in December and made his only appearance this season in the 80-65 home loss to Indiana on Jan. 19 where the 6-foot-10 forward played two minutes, committed a personal foul and went 0 of 2 from the free throw line.

Perrin arrived in the United States in August and attended Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kansas during the fall semester, working out with the Buffaloes but not participating in game competition.

Perrin helped lead France to a 6-1 record and fifth-place finish at the FIBA U18 European Championships from July 30-August 7 in Izmir, Turkey. He led France in scoring and rebounding at the U18 Euros, averaging 13.9 points and 9.1 boards while shooting 56 percent.

Perrin was named MVP of the Adidas Next Generation qualifying tournament in Patras, Greece in April, averaging 17.7 points and 10.7 rebounds. He was then called up to the Next Generation All-Star Team at the Euroleague Final Four in Belgrade, Serbia, in May, averaging 10 points and 5.8 rebounds.

Perrin played for the Antibes Sharks club in the French Pro B league last season. He was named MVP after posting 21.5 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 steals.

He emerged on the scene in 2021 after making the French U18 national team as a 16-year-old and competing in the European Championship.

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