Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Probably the most famous person I have ever met up to now is Pat Summitt, who died yesterday at the age of 64. She was the head of the University of Tennessee Women's Basketball team for many years. She was only 64. Now a lot of you write off sports as a waste of time, a diversion, unimportant, to be ignored. But I think Pat Summitt showed that sports are anything but irrelevant. She was a pioneer who made women's college basketball what it is today. When she started out as a 22 year old college coach, women's basketball and women's sports in general, were nothing of much importance to college or media. Summitt changed all that. She made it big time. She convinced girls that they could play sports too if they wanted, that the gym and playground courts did not belong just to the boys. She gave lots of young ladies a chance to have a college education. A lot of minority women benefitted from all this. Everyone of her players graduated. Can't say that about big time college football! Pat did not care just about winning, though she did that, but cared about her young players very much, and they knew it. She could be demanding, but loving. She gave this Catholic pastor an interview one time when I called her office. She asked me questions. She did not appear to be in a hurry. At that time she was in her 40s and winning often with championship trophies to show for it. But it was never about Pat Summitt. I miss her.