I remember the first time I met coach Summitt. My grandmother and I were in awe of how powerful and sharp she was in person when she came to my projects in Astoria, New York, to recruit me to UT.
She promised me three things that day: I would graduate college, I would always have my family and sisterhood at UT, and that she would always be there for me.
As amazing as she was as a coach she was so much more as a person. No matter what I was going through during and after my college playing days, she was there for me. I remember when I first was having issues in college, she met with me and told me, “You have to do what makes you happy.” She got me the help I needed.
Even up until these final days, she lived up to her promise to me and I’m sure to so many others. I went to Knoxville this weekend with a heavy heart. I had received word that coach Summitt’s health was declining rapidly. I did not know how I would feel when I saw her.
When I arrived, I was overwhelmed by the love and outpouring of support for coach Summitt.
My UT family was there sharing stories, laughing, crying, wanting to be there for the woman that had never let them down. I spent some time with her and I thanked her for everything she has done for me and for every other life that she touched. People came from far and wide to be there in her presence for one last time, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. If anyone could pull out a miracle it would be coach Summitt. But the miracle was her life and her legacy. Her incredible journey and the lives that she touched on and off the court. Her impact on the world is far greater than the game of basketball. She will forever and always be my superhero.
Thank you coach Pat Summitt.
(From the Associated Press)