LAFAYETTE — A little more than 15 years after her death, Louisiana-Lafayette women’s basketball legend Kim Perrot’s impact on the Acadiana area finally is getting memorialized properly.
A weekend celebrating Perrot’s life, achievements and legacy began at a Friday night banquet and social held at the Petroleum Club, where Perrot’s family and friends gathered not only to share their favorite stories but to remark upon Perrot’s impact. Perrot died in 1999 after a battle with lung cancer.
Perrot was one of the most gifted scorers in NCAA history during her four years at the school, then known as USL. She scored 30 points per game in her senior season to lead the NCAA, a figure that included a 58-point outburst against Southeastern that was brought up numerous times Friday.
The night was an emotional one for the roughly 100 people in attendance. Long silences were preceded by tear-filled stories of Perrot’s courage, then punctuated with laughter whenever a speaker told a story detailing Perrot’s competitive zeal and determination.
The banquet was the beginning of a momentous weekend for Perrot and her family. On Saturday, a banner will be unveiled in the Cajundome during halftime of the women’s basketball game against South Alabama.
In addition to the service Friday and the ceremony Saturday, the court at the Martin Luther King Center in Lafayette where Perrot grew up playing will be renamed Kim Perrot Court.
The most important part of Perrot’s legacy for those who spoke, however, was her determination to make it out of her humble upbringings to achieve basketball fame with the Houston Comets of the WNBA, where she won two championships.
The first $100 donation to potentially start a scholarship fund in Perrot’s name was made at the event.
Perrot’s No. 12 uniform was retired by the Cajuns in 1998, a year before her death. But now her name will now hang in the Cajundome rafters next to the likes of men’s players Andrew Toney and Bo Lamar.
“Once I got reunited with (Cajuns women’s basketball coach Garry Brodhead) a couple months ago, he felt that it wasn’t enough,” said Perrot’s sister, Loretta Perrot-Hunter. “Being that we have the Cajundome, and they started hanging up all the men’s jerseys, he said, ‘You know what? She needs to be with everybody. ... She impacted a whole lot of people.’ ”
And that’s right where it should be, said those who knew her and watched her compete, whether it was against a man or a woman.