The sports world is in mourning this week after legendary women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt passed away on Tuesday. She was 64 years-old.
According to The Political Insider, Summitt’s son Tyler told reporters that his mother died “peacefully” Tuesday morning, surrounded by “those who loved her most,” in Knoxville, Tennessee. He added that her death came after years of battling her “toughest opponent,” which was early onset dementia.
“She did so with bravely fierce determination just as she did with every opponent she ever faced,” Tyler Summitt said in a statement. “Even though it’s incredibly difficult to come to terms that she is no longer with us, we can all find peace in knowing she no longer carries the heavy burden of this disease.”
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Summitt was the head coach of women’s basketball at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville for 38 seasons in a career in which she was recognized as the “winningest basketball coach in NCAA history” for both men’s and women’s Division I teams. After hearing of her death, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville paid tribute to her “relentless pursuit of excellence” and lasting legacy: eight national championships, a 100 percent graduation rate and 1,098 total wins.
“Pat’s legend transcends numbers,” the university said. “It transcends sport, gender and all things quantitative.”
Summit announced her diagnosis of early-onset dementia in August of 2011 and retired the following year. She then established a foundation aimed at advancing a cure for the disease.
“Basketball has lost a legend, and Tennessee has lost one of its most beloved daughters,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN).
Rest in peace, Pat Summitt!