Local women in basketball reflect on Pat Summitt's legacy - KMOV.com

Local women in basketball reflect on Pat Summitt's legacy

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Legendary University of Tennessee Women's Basketball Coach Pat Summitt passed away at the age of of 64 on June 28. Legendary University of Tennessee Women's Basketball Coach Pat Summitt passed away at the age of of 64 on June 28.

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) - “Pat Summitt was a legend, a true pioneer and trailblazer.”

“She was something that you just always aspired to be.”

Those are some of the comments local women in the basketball community are saying after Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt passed away Tuesday morning after being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in 2011.  Summitt led the Tennessee Volunteers women’s basketball team to eight national titles in her 38 seasons.

Her 1,098 wins are the most in NCAA Division I history – men or women.

Jordann Plummer is an assistant coach for the SLU women’s basketball team.  She played for Drake in college and faced Summitt’s Tennessee Volunteers in the first round of the 2008 NCAA tournament.  Plummer’s team lost by “a lot” but it was after the game ended that she got to meet the legendary coach.

“It was an awesome experience.  Getting to shake her hand, she said a lot of kind words to us. She epitomized the dream of being a little girl and wanting to be a Lady Vol,” Plummer said.

Khalia Collier, owner and GM of the St. Louis Surge, also got a chance to lay eyes on the Hall of Fame coach.

“I had the opportunity to attend a Tennessee game and just seeing her in the stands that was motivation within itself. I think I may have watched Pat Summitt more than I watched that game that day,” Collier said.

Coaches from the area are also releasing statements following Summitt’s death:

“Pat Summitt was the true inspiration for all of us in women’s basketball.  She was a mentor, a role model and true leader.  She loved her players, staff and everyone who was willing to grow the game.  She will be remembered as the best in women’s basketball,” wrote SLU women’s basketball head coach Lisa Stone.

“I think for the majority of the population when they think of women’s basketball, they think of Pat Summitt. She was a fearless leader that was driven, passionate, demanding and loving.  She was in a league of her own. There really are no words to describe the impact she has had on so many lives, including my own. I have always had so much respect and admiration for Coach Summitt.  She was strong, confident, yet so humble and real.   Her legacy and impact will live forever," Mizzou women’s basketball head coach Robin Pingeton said in a statement.

The St. Louis Alzheimer’s Association believes Summitt is going to help raise awareness for the disease as there is much to be learned about it.  Summitt had early onset Alzheimer’s – something seen in just five percent of those diagnosed.  Researchers still do not know what causes it.

Officials say there is a free geriatric screening available on Thursday July 14 from one to three in the afternoon at Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis. It’s available for anyone age 65 and older. 

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