Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pat Summitt Is Virtually Winner, After Shocking Diagnosis


It's a beautiful thing to realize that Pat Summitt is virtually a true winner. She is a fighter, a true winner, the ambassador in Rocky Top and the winningest coach in college basketball history among men or women, demanding her girls lift weights, ran sprints and scrimmage against the men.

It's not fair for the prejudice to disregard women's sports -- to downgrade Summitt, who is famous for winning eight national championships, 1,071 games and earning the reverence of the nation. She's all the more reason women's sports are more relevant as Summitt orchestrated a dynasty in women's basketball, earning the nod for a wonderful script.

Back in May, she received diagnosis of early onset dementia, an Alzheimer-type illness. The next day she forced herself to fight the disease, just as she fights for her girls, the all-girls team that she grooms and cultivates. It's been discovered that the illness of a 59-year-old coach isn't enough to end her marveled career as a women's basketball head coach -- not exact, as in the case of fighting to stay strong, Summitt will continue to coach.

As of Tuesday, it was hard for everyone who knows Pat, and depending on their relationships with her, it's even harder to learn the devastating news to be emphatically surprised in the well-being of a hallowed teacher for the game of basketball. Everyone in Tennessee, including the folks in the South, knows for nearly four decades that she built a collegiate basketball program at Tennessee, a well-balanced team developed diligently and successfully.

The Lady Volunteers won a fair share of titles to keep the program relevant among the national elites and implement a basketball identity, changing the thought on how women's hoops are classified across the nation under Summitt. It has always been amazing to watch Summitt master a regime of grandeur, an unprecedented career given her superlative 1,037 wins against merely 196 losses, eight championships and 29 combined Southeastern Conference titles.

With heavy hearts and strong emotions, as people generate a mood that can only be described as agonizing, it's too bad she is suffering from a malicious disease at such a very young age. Her state of mind, weakened by the recent disease detected, probably won't inhibit Summitt from coaching when she is, nonetheless, aspired and enthusiastic offering girls the fundamentals of basketball.

When she found out the results, she was anguished and distraught, but never allowed the illness to reduce her spirit, a hard-driven coach with a mindset to win on all levels. She told the university she'd be willing to still stand on the sidelines and diagram plays for the more prominent school among women sports, if she could fight of the minor complications of the disease which is so spiteful and complex in understanding the cause of such an atrocious ailment.

The previous few months had been beyond frightening after she was diagnosed with bad health following a series of tests at the Mayo Clinic, but she desires to discipline and nourish her players to improve incrementally. It is often she ennobled women's sports in America, and her traits are indicative to folks familiar with her personality, an animated and betrothed Southern gal.

For her, no doubt, the greater the fear, the braver she becomes. It's not unusual that someone is afraid or worried about the welfare of their health, but it's a whole different story for Summitt, one of the masterly and accomplished coaches the nation has ever seen. It was mind-blowing and mostly crestfallen when the news broke moments before Summitt publicly announced Tuesday that she had been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Then came the majority of people who are shockingly blown, reluctant in believing such a horrific development to cast a darken cloud that hovers over Rocky Top, even if she appears to be stable at the moment, not struck by serious symptoms from the disease. Sadly enough, she is battling with Alzheimer's and entering what is a horrible illness powerful enough to cause memory lost and the lack of a knowledgeable state of mind. For much of her life, to say the least, she has fought through adversity, whether it was lifting an entire sport, whether it was dealing with motherhood and whether it was her strength to overcome cancer, a harmful hardship she managed to rise above.

"I plan to continue to be your coach," Summitt said. "Obviously, I realize I may have some limitations with this condition since there will be some good days and some bad days."

The world is absolutely stunned by this, hearing the shocking story, struggling to accept the truth. The vast majority have teary-eyes in much disbelief ever since she revealed an unexpected sickness no one ever imagined, suddenly dealing with a disease as recruiting and coaching is her least priority. Seems even the UConn fans are sympathetic and realizes Summitt is fighting for her health.

No matter how she is ailing, aiming to return to courtside for her 38th season at Tennessee, she is trying to win the battle and be victorious even larger than before. She unfortunately welcomes a new challenge in hopes to overcome bad health and, more notably, Summitt has been successful in rising above obstacles. It is all about her defeating the biggest obstacle in front of her, a trait she has done so well.

Summitt -- with all reasonable accounts -- is an influential coach, victorious in whatever she touches just as King Midas had the ability to turn everything he touched into gold. As it seems, we can assume that she is just as precious as gold, too, the winningest coach, the greatest teacher and the most respected coach in women sports.

The best of possible intentions is she'll fight the illness with much happiness, laughter and optimism. There is, after all, her symbolic willpower and strength, not feeling pity or lacking self-esteem within herself, willing to win another contest in her lifetime. Thus, it is what happens when someone as lovable as Summitt can touch many lives, produce so many careers and mentor so many athletes.

A lot of those players are making an impact in the WNBA. Much of the talent in the WNBA were products of Tennessee under Summitt's coaching method, mentoring Indiana's Tamika Catchings and Candace Parker, who led the Lady Vols to back-to-back NCAA titles in 2007-08. Even Chamique Holdsclaw, who was one of the finest stars of the Lady Vols, was one of the players she had a privilege in fostering.

In her days, Summitt has won more than a thousand games and, mainly because of her philosophy, she has been terrific in staying on top of her players, assuring that her girls are provided with an education and success.

"There is no doubt in my mind that Pat will take on this challenge as she has all others during her Hall of Fame career _ head on," Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said. “I wish her all the best."

She's not only a Hall of Famer, but a winner. If she can encourage and influence her girls to rise whenever they fall, then she can defeat a much-maligned illness.