Former Wake Forest basketball star was a three-time Academic All-America honoree
(June 25, 2008)—–Amy (Privette) Perko, executive director of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, has been selected for induction into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame. Perko, who will enter the Hall as part of the 21st class, will be inducted with four other honorees on June 30 in Tampa, Fla. The class entering with Perko in Tampa includes Rebecca Lobo (Connecticut, `95), Dr. Kenneth Caldwell (The Citadel, `79), Nancy Hogshead-Makar (Duke, `86) and Karen Jennings (Nebraska, ‘93).
Perko has been involved with the work of the Knight Commission since the Commission reconvened in 2003 and has served as the executive director since July 2005. The Commission is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Perko joins Knight Commission member Val Ackerman in the Hall of Fame.
“I see this recognition as a validation of the Knight Commission’s contributions to college sports,” Perko said. “I’ve been fortunate to work with so many outstanding leaders dedicated to preserving the balance between academics and athletics. In receiving this honor, I must recognize Maureen Devlin, the commission’s former executive director, for her unwavering commitment to the commission’s work and for allowing me to become involved in this effort. I also must thank Bill Friday, president emeritus at the University of North Carolina and Thomas Hearn, president emeritus at Wake Forest, for their guidance and support. Both have made significant contributions to improving college sports so that the programs remain connected to the educational mission of universities.”
Prominent sportscaster Dick Enberg, who presented Perko with each of her three Academic All-America awards in ‘85, ‘86 and ‘87, notified the Deacon great of her selection for induction.
“When I got the phone call from Dick Enberg, I was floored,” Perko said. “I knew Wake Forest had nominated me but I did not expect to be selected. I was really surprised and obviously very honored to be included with this group. To be selected for the Hall of Fame for this particular award is very meaningful.”
Perko, who graduated from Wake Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude in 1987, was a three-time Academic All-America selection as well as a two-time All-ACC performer on the hardwood. She was inducted into the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.
The Kannapolis, N.C. native ranks among Wake Forest’s top ten all-time in points, rebounds, assists and steals. Perko was also a William Louis Poteat scholar at Wake.
Perko won Wake’s Female Athlete of the Year award for the 1986-87 season and was chosen as the recipient of the 1987 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Perko continued her studies at the University of Richmond, where she received her master’s degree in sports management.
Perko worked at the NCAA for over six years, and then at the University of Kansas as the Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator. She left Kansas in 2001 to return to North Carolina when she was the first Team President named by the National Basketball Association for one of its men’s basketball development teams, the Fayetteville Patriots.
An active member of the Fayetteville community, Perko served as President of the Board of Directors for the Partnership for Children of Cumberland County, an organization that focuses on early childhood development and education. She continues to serve on the organization’s Board of Directors. Over the past several years, Perko has served on the coordinating committee for a community-wide basketball league and has coached girls’ basketball teams in the area.
Amy and her husband, Rick, are the parents of two daughters: Anna and Kate.
“My life experience has been that discipline, focus and determination help you succeed in academics and athletics,” Perko added. “I’ve been blessed to have great teachers, mentors and teammates who really share in this recognition.”
Photo: Amy Perko (center) receiving the award at her induction to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame.