Comets’ Perrot Dies of Cancer
Kim Perrot, the determined Houston Comet point guard who was called the heart and soul of the two-time WNBA champions, died Thursday of lung cancer. She was 32.
Perrot died peacefully with friends and family by her side at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the team said.
Diagnosed with lung cancer on Feb. 19, Perrot had been seeking alternative treatment in Tijuana after undergoing surgery Feb. 24 to remove tumors in her brain, where the lung cancer had spread.
Comet Coach Van Chancellor said even though he knew Perrot’s condition was grave, news of her death caught him off guard. “I was just totally unprepared when they called me. I thought I would be ready for it, but in no way was I ready,” he told Houston television station KRIV.
The Comets were in Los Angeles on Thursday preparing for tonight’s game against the Sparks.
“They thought she would want them to play, and I can guarantee you that she did,” said Carroll Dawson, the Comets’ executive vice president for basketball. “She would be kicking their tails if they didn’t play.”
Perrot’s death stirred tributes around the league. Before the New York Liberty-Cleveland Rocker game, a crowd of 16,782 at Madison Square Garden stood for a moment of silence after a video in honor of Perrot.
“The entire WNBA family is devastated by this tragic loss,” WNBA president Val Ackerman said in a statement. “We will remember Kim as a woman of great heart and indomitable courage who refused to be daunted by any challenge.”
Perrot played four years at Southwestern Louisiana, where she set 27 school records, including the career scoring mark. Her 58 points against Southeastern Louisiana in 1990 are the second highest in NCAA history. Last year, Perrot finished second in voting for WNBA defensive player of the year, making 84 steals in 30 games. Despite her illness, Perrot made about 100 public appearances as a motivational speaker.
Around the WNBA
New York 72, Cleveland 55--The Liberty (18-13), with many of the players crying at the start of the game after a tribute to Kim Perrot, raced a 24-11 lead and never trailed the Rockers (6-25) at Madison Square Garden. “I got word as I was going out to shoot,” said Teresa Weatherspoon, who had played against Perrot in college. “It was very painful for me. I’ve gone through a lot this season. But this is tough, really tough.” Rocker guard Michelle Edwards, a Perrot teammate on a 1990 U.S. national squad, was also shaken by the news. “[Kim] said she was going to have surgery when she got back to Houston [after treatment in Mexico],” Edwards said. “And then this whole thing erupted. This game means nothing.”