Summitt Diagnosed With Dementia


University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach was diagnosed with dementia today.  It’s a sad day for her and her family, and for Volunteer basketball fans as well.

In case you don’t know, Summitt has won more basketball games than any coach in Division I college basketball.  That includes Adolph Rupp, Dean Smith, and anybody else you can think of.  The Volunteers, under Summit’s leadership, have won six national titles.  She’s a winner, and has never had any inclinations on the part of the NCAA that she cheated. 

It’s a sad day that Americans are still suffering from dementia.  Pat’s case points to this idea.  There has been promising research done on stem cells to help Alzheimer’s patients.  Why are we not pursuing this research? 

In any case, this post isn’t about political or religous ideology.  It’s about what Pat Summit has accomplished, and what she plans to do next. 

She’s not giving up coaching yet.  She plans to keep going until she can’t any more, relying on her staff and medical people to help her stay in the game as long as she can.  This is a courageous approach to a terrifying ordeal.  She deserves our admiration for showing this courage. 

In a time when college sports has almost daily reports on players having trouble with the cops and universities getting caught up in cheating, Pat is a refreshing change.  She demands the best from her players and from herself.  She doesn’t let college kids get away with making excuses for not performing.  And I’m pretty sure that if a player of hers had a run in with the cops, that player would have to deal with it like an adult. 

Now, I don’t know if any women players have had these issues like their male counterparts.  I’ve never heard of any, but that doesn’t mean that it has never happened.  Women’s athletics doesn’t exactly get the same coverage as men’s athletics do.  And these ladies understand that most of them will need to go pro in something other than sports, so they don’t have the hangers on that men athletes do. 

At any rate, I wish Pat the best, and I hope and pray that she will be able to continue for a long time to come.  Good luck, Pat.  We’re cheering for you, and this time, the game is much more important than any other you’ve been part of.

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