Monday, May 18, 2009
As far as I can tell, of all of the ABL and WNBA players who have played the game, only two of those players are deceased.
If you're more than just a casual fan of the WNBA, you know the first one. Kim Perrot. She died in 1999 from metastatized lung cancer. She was diagnosed in February 1999 and died in August of the same year.
The other player is a little bit more difficult to name. Corissa Yasen died in May 2001 from a drug overdose. High levels of several anti-depressants, painkillers and anxiety medications were found in her toxicology analysis according to the Font of All Knowledge, Wikipedia. The death was ruled as a suicide; I'll leave others to argue whether the death was planned or incidental. If it was a suicide, there was no note - but if you've been watching House, MD you know that it is more likely for a suicide not to leave a note than otherwise.
She was only 27 years old when she died. A graduate of Purdue University, at the time of her death she was the most decorated track and field athlete in Purdue's history. She started her professional basketball career with the WNBA in 1997 - the only year she ever played in the WNBA. She played 19 games for the Sacramento Monarchs, not starting in any of them, averaging 9.9 minutes a game and 2.7 points a game.
She had graduated with a pharmacy degree from Purdue and returned to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho to work at a pharmacy in Medicine Hat. She seemed happy.
It just goes to show you that you can play along side someone if you're a player, or you can study a player's history, statistics, listen to interviews, watch them play, and yet not really know who they are. Some people are mysteries, and they remain mysteries no matter how much we would like it to be otherwise.