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Women’s Basketball: Perrot’s effect lasting

Women’s Basketball: Perrot’s effect lasting

Women’s Basketball: Perrot’s effect lasting

USL standout to enter La. Hall of Fame

The numbers are staggering, yet they don’t begin to gauge the effect Kim Perrot had on those around her.

Many of the records Perrot earned at UL from 1986-90 remain a quantum leap ahead of those chasing them. She led the nation in scoring in 1990 at 30 points per game, including one outburst of 58 points, and remains the school’s career leader with 2,157 points.

The 5-5, 130-pounder also left with 654 assists and 421 steals, leading her team in both areas in each of four years. She hustled for 553 rebounds and even paced the Cajuns one season despite her diminutive size.

Perrot’s No. 12 jersey is retired at the school, a fitting tribute to someone who remains the measuring stick for the program.

As impressive as her numbers are, though, Perrot is most remembered for her low-key personality, her determination to play professionally and her courage in the face of cancer that took her life at age 32 in 1999.

Perrot played in Germany, Sweden and Israel before getting a chance in the WNBA through a local tryout with the Houston Comets in 1997. She sparked the Comets to back-to-back WNBA titles and inspired a third crown in a row by her battle against cancer.

"What made Kim so special was how she affected people, fans and teammates, both on and off the floor," said former Comets teammate Cynthia Cooper, Prairie View A&M women’s coach. "She was such a genuine person. She was fierce on the court, as well as a caring person off the court. And that’s a magical combination.

"That’s why she touched so many people so quickly. She only played in the WNBA two years, and yet she touched so many lives. She had a knack for relating to people on and off the court. She loved the youth. She knew young people were our future – athletically, academically and professionally."

Perrot’s personality was apparent early at Acadiana High School.

"Kim was my buddy," said Greg Guidry, the AHS senior class president in 1985. "She was a great person. She was kind of shy, good-natured, quiet.

"She just enjoyed playing the game. I had a really good relationship with her. I played sports, and we were always in the gym together. As good as she was, she didn’t try to take over. She didn’t want to show anybody up, and she could have. Among the guys in the gym, she could outplay anybody, except maybe someone on the basketball team. She never made that a part of who she was."

Perrot wasn’t afraid to be herself in any setting, especially in competition.

"On the court, she knew you had to balance being tough and at the same time being able to motivate your teammates," Cooper said. "I was Cynthia Cooper, this go-to player, this star, and Kim was the only person who would really tell me the truth all the time. She would tell it like it was.

"I remember one game when I had taken a couple of bad shots, and we were walking back to the huddle. Kim got close to me and said, ‘You could have passed that last ball, don’t you think?’ And I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ She said, ‘You took three bad shots in a row. I think you could have passed that last one.’ "

"I knew what she meant. Basketball is a team sport. You’re supposed to get everyone involved. It was her telling me that I was better than that. She made me better as a person and as a player because of that."

"I had a very special bond with Kim," former Comets coach and now LSU coach Van Chancellor. "It’s not every day when a coach gets a phone call like I’d get all the time from her. She’d call me during the last year when she wasn’t playing just to say, ‘Remember that I still love you.’ "

"The thing I remember is to see how Kim would interact with people, how much Kim would care." Cooper said. "When we would hold WNBA events and do community work, Kim would hug the kids. She made them feel like they were the most special person on earth."

"It’s always nice to see someone from Acadiana High do well," Guidry said. "I saw her play a few times in Houston, and when we’d go she always took the time to talk to us. She always remembered people. When you’d see her there, she just was Kim.

"I also went to her funeral. She was a really good person, someone who was always there when you needed something."

Perrot’s death on Aug. 19, 1999, left a hole in the Comets.

"The world is not as good as it was before 3 o’clock today," said Carroll Dawson, at the time the executive V.P. for basketball for the Comets.

The WNBA created the Kim Perrot Leadership Award and Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award in her honor.

Typically, Perrot thought of others while fighting cancer, inspiring "Kim’s Place" at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. It is an oasis for 15-to-25 year olds who have cancer, a place where they can be themselves, play, learn and find solace in the support of others their age.

"I am very aware of the patients in this age range who don’t have many ways of interacting," said Martha Aschenbrenner, director of M.D. Anderson’s Child Life Program. "When I heard about Kim’s Place, it was really a godsend."

"It’s all about helping, and any time you can help someone, go out and do it because it makes you feel better," Perrot said. "It makes you a better person. And you can make a difference, and I’m all about trying to make a difference because I love kids and I love trying to help make a (difference) in someone’s life."

Kim’s place in history is secure.

 Zoom Photo

Advertiser file photo/Brad Kemp

Explosive UL Ragin’ Cajun guard Kim Perrot, shown above going up for a layup against New Orleans during the 1988 basketball season, will be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 23 in Natchitoches. The Acadiana High product later won two titles with the Houston Comets.

La. Hall of Fame inductees



  • Willard Brown, baseball


  • Joel Hawkins, prep basketball coach


  • Stan Humphries, football


  • Esther Jones, track and field


  • Brian Mitchell, football


  • Warren Perkins, basketball


  • Kim Perrot, basketball


  • Pat Swilling, football


    The eight will be inducted on June 21-23 in Natchitoches.