Hyman "Hymie" Perlo
Hyman "Hymie" Perlo (1922-2006) moved from Durham, North Carolina with his family to Washington D.C. in 1925. Hymie was among the District's most revered athletes of the late 1930s and early '40s. His skill as team member and captain of Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders prompted fellow Washington Metropolitan Basketball Hall of Fame member, Red Auerbach, who briefly coached at Roosevelt, to once recall him as "the greatest high school player in his day." Besides his many local honors, including all-Met for three years, Mr. Perlo was selected in 1940 and 1941 as the outstanding Southern high school basketball player in the Duke-Durham scholastic basketball tournament. He was offered more than 50 college scholarships upon graduating from Roosevelt in 1941, but after briefly attending George Washington University, he enlisted in the Army paratroopers during World War II.
He saw combat in Italy and once spent 69 days in a foxhole in Anzio. He received the Silver Star for swimming injured soldiers across a river to safety despite the enemy fire around him. Later, he was shot in the leg, and this ended his athletic career. After he returned from the war, Mr. Perlo graduated from GWU with a bachelor's degree in education and spent about a decade as director of athletics at the Jewish Community Center in Washington.
In 1968, Mr. Perlo went to work for fellow Washington Metropolitan Basketball Hall of Fame member Abe Pollin, a fellow member of Roosevelt's class of 1941 who owned the Bullets. Pollin hired his friend to do public relations work and handle special functions.