The Arizona Wildcats had only three days to take off for the holiday weekend, so not all of them made it home.

But there was never a question senior forward Jesse Perry would fly to St. Louis. He couldn’t imagine not doing so. 

Especially this Christmas, his first with a seven-month-old daughter named Madison.

“I want to see my family, my daughter in particular,” Perry said. “It’s important for me to be there for her, her first Christmas. I grew up sort of not having my father in my life. He passed away at a young age and I want to be there for her.”

Perry, in fact, has only vague memories of his father, at Christmas or any other time. Perry said he was three years old when his father was shot and killed in an accident.

“That’s why I feel it’s important to be there,” Perry said. “Things happened to my daddy. He had to leave and I didn’t grow up with a father.”

Read more about Perry and Christmas with his family in Saturday's Arizona Daily Star.