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Kim Perrot, athlete, 32



Comets' Kim Perrot Dies Of Cancer At 32

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Houston Comets guard Kim Perrot, the emotional leader of
the two-time WNBA champions, died Thursday of complications from lung and
brain cancer, six months after she was diagnosed with the disease. She was
32.

A Comets spokeswoman said Perrot died with family and friends by her bedside
at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, where she had been receiving treatment
for the cancer and assistance with her breathing.

``Kim was an inspiration to each of us and she has touched our lives in so
many ways,'' said a portion of a statement released by Perrot's family.
``Your prayers have lifted her spirits and ours. We will always love her and
cherish her in our hearts and we know that each of you will, too.''

``The entire WNBA family is devastated by this tragic loss,'' WNBA president
Val Ackerman said. ``We will always remember Kim as a woman of great heart
and indomitable courage who refused to be daunted by any challenge. She has
been an inspiration to countless people within and outside the basketball
community and our hearts go out to her family and the Comets'
organization.''

In February, Perrot was diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to her
brain. She had brain surgery less than a week later to remove a tumor and
later underwent radiation therapy to attack remaining smaller tumors in her
brain. The cancer was characterized as unrelated to lifestyle.

However, Perrot's condition did not improve. Saturday night, her condition
worsened and she and her family returned from Tijuana, Mexico, where she had
been receiving treatment. She was admitted to the Anderson Center.

In an ironic twist, Comets teammates Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson taped
an edition of ESPN's ``Up Close'' that was aired today and were asked about
Perrot's impact upon the team.

``I think Kim's one of the most inspirational players and every time we step
on the court, we dedicate it to Kim,'' Swoopes said. ``We know she would
want us to go out there and give it our best. She's a great friend and great
person, our emotional leader and spiritual leader.''

``She was the glue to this team. She held us together,'' Thompson said.

Often overshadowed by the star quotient of Swoopes, Thompson and Cynthia
Cooper, Perrot was responsible for distributing the ball and keeping
everyone happy. She was the floor general for the Comets' WNBA championship
teams of 1997 and 1998.

Perrot averaged 7.2 points and just under four assists per game in two
seasons with the Comets. She was placed on the injured list prior to this
season.

The 5-5 Perrot played collegiately at Southwestern Louisiana, where she once
scored 58 points in a game, two shy of the NCAA record. She played
professionally in Europe for eight years before joining the WNBA in 1997.

Although the Comets may have missed Perrot's leadership and emotion, they
have not suffered in the standings. Saturday's win over Minnesota clinched
the Western Conference title and home-court advantage throughout the WNBA
playoffs.

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