Sad day for many people around the country with news that legendary Tennessee women's coach Pat Summitt has died at age 64.
I will post a column online later with my memories of Summitt and what she meant to women's basketball, my home state of Tennessee and my time covering her as a beat writer at the UT student newspaper.
But I wanted to share a message I received from my friend Jody Adams, who played for Summitt and was her point guard on the 1991 national championship team.
I grew up with Jody in the same hometown and attended UT at the same time. We had several conversations this past weekend about Summitt and I'll share some of Jody's insight in my column. Jody is now the head women's basketball coach at Wichita State.
Jody, who was an assistant at Minnesota under Cheryl Littlejohn in the late 1990s, texted me this beautiful tribute to Summitt that she wrote on her Facebook account early this morning.
My condolences go out to the entire Summitt family and a never-ending appreciation for you all supporting your daughter, sister, wife and mother in her career. We all know how much extra time and energy she gave us as players, coaches and others throughout the world. So, being a former player and now a coach, I want to say thank you for allowing us to be an extension of your family and sharing that precious time and energy of Pat's with us. There's no doubt she rubbed off on us!
My COACH, My MENTOR and My FRIEND
1. Her VISION was huge for you.
2. Pat could ENERGIZE and MOTIVATE you to do anything.
3. She BELIEVED in you.
4. She CARED so she did MORE for you and told you the TRUTH (which hurt sometimes) ��
5. She was a FIERCE COMPETITOR.
6. She wanted you to reach your GREATNESS and held you ACCOUNTABLE to that.
7. She was THANKFUL and taught you to pay it forward.
8. She was HUMBLE but CONFIDENT because she knew she would outwork you and taught you to do the same.
9. She taught you to LOVE and take care of what you invested in, so you would keep growing!
10. She changed the world and the game of basketball. 1 by 1. 161 players she changed our life.
Thank you Pat for trusting a little 5'4 kid from Cleveland, TN to be apart of the Lady Vol family. We know we are a chosen few. Your legacy will continue to live through all of us!
R.I.P. You are whole again.
I love you Coach!
Here's a postscript to Jody's memories that she shared with me this weekend. Summitt wrote Jody a letter after graduation thanking her for being one of the most competitive players she ever coached. Jody keeps that letter in her home.