Monday, September 6
Comets win No. 3 for No. 10
Associated Press

 HOUSTON -- As the Houston Comets cemented their third WNBA championship Sunday, they fulfilled a promise to a fallen teammate and continued to build a dynasty in a year dominated by Texas champions.

 Cynthia Cooper
Cynthia Cooper holds up former teammate Kim Perrot's jersey as the Comets celebrate their third WNBA title in as many seasons.

The only team to win a title in WNBA history, Houston kept strong the memory of point guard Kim Perrot, who died Aug. 19 from a rare form of lung cancer that strikes non-smokers.

After the Comets sealed the 59-47 victory over the New York Liberty, Perrot's picture and the phrase "No. 3 for No. 10" immediately went up on the Compaq Center's jumbo TV screens.

Championship MVP Cynthia Cooper held up Perrot's No. 10 jersey, later donning it and hugging members of Perrot's family.

"I have to say we really wanted to win it for Kim. This is in memory of Kim; this is in tribute to Kim," Cooper told the crowd. "And this is in tribute to all the sacrifices that you the fans and we the players have made this year."

Stickers and signs reading "3 for 10," abounded, and it seemed every fan wore a pin, a button or a ribbon in memory of Perrot.

"Kim is here, right now, while we're celebrating," fan Debbie Loya said.

Perrot's family was brought down to the floor to celebrate along with the Comets.

"The team, the fans, everybody did it for her," said Lorreta Perrot, Kim's sister. "Regardless of Kim being gone, in a better place, we're all still family."

That family includes thousands of fans for a sport that naysayers had said would never hold the public's attention.

"We have not missed a game in three years," said Willie Burley, who attended the game with two of her friends.

All three are part of a group of 50 retired city and county employees who have been to every home game since the Comets started playing in 1997.

Another fan who has not missed a home game, Judy Moore, said this year's championship was all the more sweet because of the adversity the Comets faced.

"With Kim being the backbone of this team, it pushed us to play harder and overcome," said Moore, who wore a Perrot jersey.

The arena was sold out for a second straight day, following Saturday's last-second Game 2 victory by the Liberty on Teresa Weatherspoon's 50-footer at the buzzer.

The Comets' run comes in a year rich in championships for Texas teams as the NBA's San Antonio Spurs and NHL's Dallas Stars both won titles.

Comets conquer Liberty to complete WNBA threepeat

 Cynthia Cooper is happy to be a champion.
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