Pat Summitt is diagnosed with early onset dementia
Looking back on Pat Summitt's career
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama announced today that Pat Summitt will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
It is the nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors, according to a White House news release.
Summitt stepped down Wednesday after 38 years as coach of the Lady Vols basketball team to become head coach emeritus.
“Coach Summitt is an inspiration — both as the all-time winningest NCAA coach, and as someone who is willing to speak so openly and courageously about her battle with Alzheimer’s,” Obama said in the news release.
“Pat’s gift has always been her ability to push those around her to new heights, and over the last 38 years, her unique approach has resulted in both unparalleled success on the court and unrivaled loyalty from those who know her and those whose lives she has touched.
“Pat’s coaching career may be over, but I’m confident that her work is far from finished. I look forward to awarding her this honor.”
Summitt revealed last August that she has early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.
She is a spokeswoman against Alzheimer’s through the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund.
Summitt was notified last week of the honor, which will be presented at a White House ceremony later this year.