Tags: pat summitt | health | declining

Pat Summitt's Health Declining; Family, Friends Gather Near

Image: Pat Summitt's Health Declining; Family, Friends Gather Near
(REUTERS/Scott Audette)

By    |   Monday, 27 Jun 2016 07:22 AM

Pat Summitt's health is declining, her family acknowledged in a statement Sunday, and friends and former players have rallied around the legendary Tennessee women's basketball coach, reported the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Summitt, 64, who led the University of Tennessee's women's basketball team to eight national championships, announced in August 2011 that doctors diagnosed her with the early onset Alzheimer's disease, noted USA Today.

She stepped down from coaching after the 2011-12 season, racking up a record 1,098 victories over 38 years, noted the News Sentinel.

Erin Freeman, of Ackermann Public Relations, released a statement on behalf of Summitt's family on the coach's foundation website Sunday, asking for privacy.

"On behalf of Pat Summitt's family, we acknowledge the past few days have been difficult for Pat as her early onset dementia, 'Alzheimer's Type,' progresses," the statement read. "She is surrounded by those who mean the most to her and during this time, we ask for prayers for Pat and her family and friends, as well as your utmost respect and privacy."

About 20 former players, including WNBA standouts Candace Parker and Tamika Catchings, have visited Summitt in the last week. The hashtag #PrayforPat has been used by fans and supporters of the coach.


The News Sentinel said a source revealed family members were "preparing for the worst. I don't think anybody knows whether she will last a day, a month, or a year."

Summitt first took over reigns of the Tennessee basketball program while still playing competitively at 22 in 1974, said the News Sentinel. She co-captained the Olympic women's basketball team to a silver medal in the 1976 and then coached it to a gold medal in 1984 in Los Angeles.

Summitt finished her coaching career with an .840 winning percentage (1,098-208) while graduating every player who completed their eligibility, according to the coach's biography. The Sporting News named her one of 50th greatest coaches of all time, and she was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.

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Pat Summitt's health is declining, her family acknowledged in a statement Sunday, and friends and former players have rallied around the legendary Tennessee women's basketball coach.
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2016-22-27
Monday, 27 Jun 2016 07:22 AM
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