Former WNBA Champion Kim Perrot Tragically Lost Her Battle to Cancer

During the WNBA’s early years, the Houston Comets were one of the most successful teams in the league and women’s sports. The Comets won the first four titles when the league formed. 

Kim Perrot was a member of the Comets and was a part of the team’s success. Her WNBA career was cut short due to her battle with cancer. Her loss was a big blow to the WNBA community.

Kim Perrot was a standout player in college and spent time playing overseas

Kim Perrot had a lot of success in college
Kim Perrot had success in college and playing overseas before playing in the WNBA. | Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

RELATED: How WNBA Star Maya Moore Saved an Inmate’s Life

Perrot played her college basketball at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and spent four years there. During her time there, she had a lot of success and became one of the top college basketball players. She once scored 58 points during a game, which is the third-most in NCAA history. As a senior, she averaged 30 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 5.1 steals per game. Her 30 points per game led the nation during her senior year. During her career, she averaged 19.5 points, six assists, and five rebounds.

Perrot finished her career as the all-time leading scorer with 2,157 points and set multiple school records. After having a lot of success in college, she started her professional basketball career overseas. She spent six years playing in Europe and then had the opportunity to play in the WNBA.

Kim Perrot’s brief WNBA career was a success

In 1997, she joined the Houston Comets of the newly formed WNBA. She immediately became a starter for the Comets and was a leader on the team. During her first year with the team, she played in 28 games and averaged 5.8 points, three assists, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.5 steals. Her leadership skills on the court helped the Comets make it to the first-ever WNBA Finals.

The Comets ended up winning the 1997 Finals, and Perrot was already a champion in her first WNBA season. In her second season, Perrot returned to the Comets, where the team continued to have success. She started and played in 30 games and averaged 8.5 points, 4.7 assists, and 3.1 rebounds. The 1998 season was Perrot’s last WNBA season. In her final WNBA game, she scored 13 points in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals and helped the Comets win a second consecutive title. During her two seasons with the Comets, she averaged 7.2 points, 3.9 assists, and 2.9 rebounds. 

Kim Perrot’s tragic battle with lung cancer

After winning her second title with the Comets, Perrot found out some news that she did not want to hear. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1999, and she was forced to miss the season. Even though she was not with the team, the Comets still considered her to be a spiritual uplift for the team. The cancer got worse for Perrot and moved to her brain. She underwent surgery and radiation treatments to destroy the tumors in her head.

Though she received surgery and radiation treatments, she did not do the chemotherapy recommended by her doctors. Things were not going well for Perrot with the cancer, so she decided to travel to Mexico to seek alternative help. Unfortunately, there was no cure for Perrot, and she passed away on Aug. 19, 1999, at the age of 32. 

The WNBA honored Kim Perrot after her death

The Comets went on to win their third straight title after Perrot’s death, and she was awarded a championship ring. Her No. 10 was retired by the Comets, and she was the first player in league history to have her jersey retired. The WNBA renamed their sportsmanship award to the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award.

It was a big blow for the Comets community when Perrot passed away. In her two seasons with the team, she left a significant impact on the team and the WNBA. She was the definition of a true leader.