Pat Summitt of the Tennessee Lady Vols announced on Tuesday that she has been diagnosed with early onset dementia, however she plans to continue coaching despite her diagnosis.
Summit told the Knoxville News Sentinel that she spoke to her players earlier in the day and told them:
“There’s not going to be any pity party, and I’ll make sure of that.”
Summitt says she’ll continue to coach and plans to manage her illness with a mixture of medication and mental exercise which will including nightly puzzles.
When exercise and medication isn’t enough Pat says she’ll lean on her “outstanding coaching staff” to help her remember what she might forget.
For their part the school’s Athletic Director Joan Cronan say’s she’s happy to have Pat Summitt remain as the school’s head coach while adding, “We’re in uncharted waters, but we certainly have a great captain.”
Pat’s son also gave his vote of confidence, noting:
“She’s always better when she knows what she’s fighting against,” while also revealing, “She’s going to prepare just like a game for her health.”
Summitt suffered last season after making some uncharacteristic second guesses against her decisions, after the season ended she was diagnosed and received verification in May that she did in fact have early onset dementia.
Regardless of her future in basketball Pat Summitt already has a lot to boast about, including becoming the first coach in Division I basketball to win 1000 games (men’s and women’s basketball).
Our best wishes go out to the entire Summitt family.