Basketball and the Navy are a way of life for Peri Curtis. A three-time all-league girls basketball player and two-time league player of the year at Coronado High, Curtis holds Islanders school records for career points and rebounds. Determined to play in college, the Naval Academy was the only logical choice. After all, her father, D.C. Curtis, played football for the Midshipmen. Brother Marcus graduated from Annapolis in 2002. Sister Nikki, who also played basketball for the Midshipmen, graduated in 2005, and sister Crystal in 2010. “My family definitely played a part in my decision to come to Annapolis,” Peri Curtis said. “I’ve been exposed to the Navy way of life, to Annapolis, since I was young. “My father and my siblings have been great role models.”
D.C. Curtis retired as a vice admiral. He was commander of the Pacific Fleet’s Naval Surface Force. Marcus Curtis chose the Marines upon his graduation. Nikki Curtis chose Naval intelligence and is now an FBI agent. Crystal Curtis is a nuclear surface warfare officer. Peri Curtis has chosen surface warfare as her military service and will graduate in late May. She will learn Jan. 28 whether she’ll be assigned to a ship in San Diego or Norfolk, Va.
Before then, there is some basketball to be played. Curtis has started all 15 game for the Navy women, who are 8-7 overall, 2-2 in the Patriot League and 7-3 at home. Curtis, a 5-foot-11 forward, is averaging 5.9 points and 5.3 rebounds with 23 steals and 22 assists. She had a career-high 11 rebounds against Colgate and a season-high 13 points against Siena.
“Every season, I’ve gotten a little better, gained more experience,” said Curtis, who played in 17 games as a freshman and sophomore and started 10 of 27 games last season. “This season, we’ve picked up the pace. We run, get out in transition. That fits me.”
Already this season, Navy has played Kansas in Allen Field House and Penn at The Palestra in Philadelphia. On Jan. 23, Navy plays Army in a men’s-women’s doubleheader in New York’s Madison Square Garden. “I’m so looking forward to that,” Curtis said.
Like anyone in college, Curtis finds herself in a major balancing act. This year, in addition to her studies and basketball, Curtis is a billet training officer in her company — one of 30 such positions at Annapolis. “It’s definitely a challenge,” Curtis said. “But being in charge is preparing me for the future. “I have a five-year commitment upon graduation, and we’ll see where things go from there. “For now, though. I’m focused on winning games, beating Army and making it to the playoffs.”