Tennessee Lady Vols Legendary Coach Pat Summitt Says She has been Diagnosed with Early Onset Dementia, Alzheimer’s Type … Could Retire at the End of Season
ROCKY TOP ROCKED TONIGHT BY THE BOMBSHELL FROM PAT SUMMITT.
Sad and stunning news out of Rocky Top nation and Knoxville, Tennessee. Legendary Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt announced today that she has been diagnosed with early onset dementia. Stunned, I am completely stunned. Pat Summitt, not only the greatest NCAA coach in the woman’s game, past present and future … she might be top 5 NCAA basketball coaches all-time, men’s or woman’s game. I am just stunned and speechless and that does not happen often. Pat Summitt was a pioneer before it was even en vogue to be so.
In a video released on YouTube Tuesday, the 59-year-old Summitt announced she has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, following a series of test conducted at the Mayo Clinic in May.
In the statement, Coach Summitt says, “Throughout my career, I have always made it a point that my life and my basketball program were an open book.
With that in mind, I have something I’d like to share with my Tennessee families — the university, boosters and fans of Lady Vol basketball.
Once last season concluded, I addressed some ongoing concerns regarding my health. After consulting with my local physicians, I decided to visit the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Earlier this summer, the doctors at the Mayo Clinic diagnosed me with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s Type, at the age of 59.
Pat’s 1,071 career victories make her the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history and her 8 NCAA titles make her second to that of only the legendary UCLA coach John Wooden. Pat Summitt is known for two things, winning and that glare. There are very few coaches that I respect more than Pat Summitt, she single handed helped put woman’s college basketball on the map. For years woman’s college basketball began and ended at Rocky Top in Nashville, TN.
By the way, did I mention I was an avid UCONN Lady Huskies basketball fan? Long before there was the undefeated Lady Huskies, Rebecca Lobo, school. Rebecca Lobo, Jennifer Rizzotti, Shea Ralph, Nykesha Sales, Swin Cash, Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Maya Moore and Coach Geno Auriemma … there was pat Summitt and the Tennessee Lady Vols that owned the court. There has become nothing better to watch in college sports than UCONN – UT, two programs that do it right and have driven coaches who not only care about winning, but care about their girls.
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That Summitt has not gone unappreciated proves only that we do not always fail to recognize genius in our own time. Much as each and every tribute must make her face flush with the discomfort of someone raised to shun such things, she thankfully has experienced the love and respect universally directed her way.
Long may that continue because she is not saying goodbye.
Long may her legacy continue to grow anywhere there is a scoreboard when she eventually does.
God bless you Pat, your legacy will last an eternity.