"You can't always control what happens, but you can control how you handle it." - Pat Summitt
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room
Pat Summitt is a legendary basketball coach that died today from complication of Alzheimer's disease.
She was 64 years old.
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I once met Pat Summitt long before she became known as a legend, and the winningest basketball coach of all time. I can't say I knew Pat, just met her. I do remember my immediate impression of her - I thought, wow, she is fierce.
I don't mean that in any negative way. She just had this fierce look in her eyes. A look that told you - you wanted that person on your side.
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I believe that Pat Summitt had a Super Brain. I often wondered how she was using her brain. What was she thinking. And then I read it.
Attitude is a choice. What you think you can do, whether positive or negative, confident or scared, will most likely happen.
Pat used her Super Brain in more ways than one. Not only because she rose to the top of her profession, but also because 100 percent of her players that stayed through their eligibility possess a college degree. Now that I believe is a super accomplishment.
I remember every player-every single one-who wore the Tennessee orange, a shade that our rivals hate, a bold, aggravating color that you can usually find on a roadside crew, "or in a correctional institution," as my friend Wendy Larry jokes.
Pat Summitt used her Super Brain.But to us the color is a flag of pride, because it identifies us as Lady Vols and therefore as women of an unmistakable type. Fighters. I remember how many of them fought for a better life for themselves. I just met them halfway.
Pat Summitt coached girls and turned them into women. When they left they were well prepared to succeed in a much bigger game - the game of life. Along with all of her successes, and her family, these are her legacy.
When the diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's came in Pat kept on coaching for as long as she could. She also decided to take on her biggest enemy - Alzheimer's disease. The Pat Summitt Foundation came into being. At the time Pat said,
Put away your hankies. There’s not going to be any pity party. We’re going to fight, and we’re
going to fight publicly.
If you can, you might want to visit the Pat Summitt Foundation and make a donation. They also sell some pretty cool shirts that say - We Back Pat - on them.
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