In an earlier post today, I shared some thoughts from Coach Marsha Sharp on legacy that included the amazing reach of Pat Summitt. Here is further evidence (though none is needed) via an article written earlier this week by John Adams of the Knoxville Sentinel:
The Boston Celtics clinched their division championship two weeks ago, and coach Doc Rivers concluded his postgame media conference by talking about Pat Summitt. His comments were heartfelt and accompanied by tears.
They also were thought-provoking.
Why did an NBA coach feel compelled to comment on the resignation of the Tennessee women's basketball coach?
He hadn't worked with her. He wasn't a close friend. He only knew her as millions have — through her myriad of accomplishments in 38 years of coaching basketball and, most recently, a difficult last season in which she worked while dealing with early onset dementia. Yet you would have thought he was talking about a colleague.
"When you see a giant like that leave the game — and leave the game because of health — it's just sad," he said. "But she is responsible for women's basketball. She's not just a women's basketball coach. She's a great coach."
John also spoke to the fact that Coach Summitt was always genuine and took time out for fans to help grow her team and the sport:
Summitt helped advance the sport with her 1997-98 team. She also helped advance the sport through all the connections she made over the course of a coaching career that spanned almost four full decades.
Her ability to connect with people made her a great recruiter and a great promoter. But she wasn't just doing her job. She was being herself.
She never stopped signing autographs. Or speaking to civic clubs. Or talking with fans after practice or in a hotel lobby. She did that when she was laying the foundation for her program and she kept doing it even when she became the face of her sport.
When you win 1,098 games and eight national titles, your bandwagon is bound to become crowded. But Summitt's fan base has been magnified by the thousands of times she has taken the time to converse with a stranger or sign an autograph.
Read John's entire article -- very well written: http://bit.ly/IKJA6P