Pat Summitt was an incredible coach that accomplished so much for the game of basketball and women’s sports. She was a champion of champions, winning the right way. I really enjoyed attending games that she coached. With her teams, you always felt like they would play hard and she would find a way to win by adapting and adjusting to what the other team was doing during the game. She was known for her stare and glare from court side and an intense competitor simply because she wanted the best for her team and players.Some of her famous quotes are:
– “Offense sells tickets, defense wins games, and rebounding wins championships.”
– “Coaches who start listening to fans often end up sitting beside them.”
– “The willingness to experiment with change may be the most important to success at anything.”
When she wasn’t coaching she was a Champion in other ways. She was constantly helping charities, attending events that help make a difference in our community. I would occasionally stop by her office to leave things for her to sign, and then take them with me on my visits to the hospital or people with serious illness. Their eyes would light up like a child at Christmas… and put a smile on their face because they looked up to her and respected her so much. It would make their difficult day easier to deal with and help them to face their own challenges.
Some have said Pat’s Place is in the record books as one the most prolific coaches of all time. Others have said it is the basketball court at the University of Tennessee, or the State of Tennessee. Her influence will continue in Pat Summitt Foundation in their fight with Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. All of these are true, but to be honest with you, her impact is not limited to a location or one particular thing. I also think that Pat’s Place is…in the hearts of family, friends, fans, and people that she touched in big ways and little ways through the years… me included.