Some among you may recall a series I wrote in April trying to determine the greatest player of all time in the history of Maryland women's basketball. In the first story, I laid down some ground rules and started with a list of nine that I promptly cut to five. On Sunday, June 15 in Knoxville, one of the four players who failed to make it past my first cut, Jasmina Perazic, was inducted in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
Because she's a Hall of Famer, let's start by noting that the correct pronunciation of her name is Yas-MEEN-a PEAR-a-sitch. But, as many who know her do, we'll call her Jazz. Jazz is the fourth woman associated with Maryland basketball to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. She joins her coach, Chris Weller, and fellow greats Tara Heiss and Vicky Bullett. (Tara also failed to survive my initial cut but Vicky made my top two.)
So, what did Jazz do to earn her way to such illustrious status? Jazz was the program's first Kodak All-American - earning that honor in 1983. That year she was also named the co-MVP of the ACC Tournament. She helped lead the Terps to the first (not simply the program's first but the first) NCAA Final Four in 1982. During Jazz' time at Maryland, the Terps also won three consecutive ACC Tournament Championships in 1981, 1982, and 1983.
When she graduated in 1983, she had amassed 1,396 points and was, at that time, the third leading scorer in program history. Over thirty years later, she still ranks in the top twenty all-time Terrapins scorers. In addition to being named as Maryland's 2008 ACC Legend, in 2002 she became a member of the Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame. She made her way onto the initial G.O.A.T. list by being one of nine women's players to have her jersey hanging from the rafters of the Comcast Center.
Of course, Jazz was more than just a Terp. She played for the Yugoslavian National team in the 1980 and 1984 Olympics. In 1980, the Yugoslavian team won the bronze medal. She had other success playing in Europe and played one season (1997) with the New York Liberty in the WNBA.
Because I can never resist sidebars, the 2014 Women's Basketball Hall of Fame class has one other Maryland connection. The six member class included two other players. One of those players is Yolanda Griffith. Yolanda's daughter, Alicia DeVaughn graduated from Maryland this year.