After a little bit more than a month of absence, I come back with a new story of the "Where are they now" series. Today, I will talk about one of the Americans that made some big impact in Europe, I speak of Aulcie Perry.
After joining Maccabi in 1977, Perry immediately helped the "Yellows" to their first Triple Crown – Israeli League, Israeli Cup and most importantly, the first Euroleague title. He then joined forces with Earl Williams to form Maccabi’s trademark frontcourt during the early 1980s and Perry would help Maccabi to a second Euroleague title in 1981. He would also reach Euroleague finals in 1980 and 1982 while dominating his team’s domestic competitions.
That’s the sportive part of the story, and by far the happier one. Because on the personal side, Perry was less "successful". During his years with Maccabi, Aulcie became a huge celebrity in the Israeli life. He was dating a famous model, Tami Ben Ami, which was a huge publicly followed romance. However, all this stardom turned Perry’s head and he became a drug addict.
This addiction went that far, that he did not show up to one Euroleague game against Real Madrid. Officially, he was out because of flu. However, a TV team went to his house and they found him there in a very bad condition due to drug use. After this, Maccabi still believed in him, and Perry did not get fired.
Things got wilder when after his basketball career, Perry wanted to move back to the United States. On his flight back, he got caught in Amsterdam with heroin with a street value of USD 1.8million. He got sentenced for 20 years of prison in a trial in 1987. However, he has been released after the half of the sentence and he immediately went back to Israel. As Maccabi stayed in contact with him over the years, they help him to reorder his life.
When he came back, he could also spend a few months with his long lasting model girlfriend who was married at that time with somebody else. However, she died of cancer a few weeks later. On the other hand, he got a licence to hold a burger restaurant in Tel Aviv where the Maccabi players went for eat. This restaurant is still going on these days but Perry has also come back to basketball. He started a basketball camp for kids in 2005 and is also involved with Maccabi’s youth sections. Besides all that, Perry is working as an agent.
The funny part of the story is still ahead though. As Perry was really tall, he is 2m10, and as Israel is not known for being a country where seven-footers are as common as holes in Swiss cheese, he was probably one of the biggest persons in the country. So his name became a nickname for tall people in the 80s. "Wow…look at that Aulcie Perry!" was a famous saying during these years and it has still survived in the local usages.