Pat Summitt already was thankful for Peyton Manning’s involvement with her foundation as honorary co-chair for the advisory board. Now she counts Manning and his wife, Ashley, as major contributors after they committed to donating $500,000.
“It’s hard to find words that can adequately express how much their gift and involvement means to me personally and to our goal to defeat Alzheimer’s disease,” said Summitt in a release issued Monday.
The Mannings’ gift, which was announced on Saturday, is the largest gift announcement made to Summitt’s foundation since its founding in November 2011. All funds received go toward advancing research for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, providing support services for patients and caregivers and building education and public awareness.
Summitt announced in August of 2011 that she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She stepped down last April after 38 seasons as the Tennessee women’s basketball coach.”
“Both Ashley and I believe it’s imperative we make our own personal contribution to advance this critical work in addition to serving in a volunteer capacity with the foundation,” Manning said in the release. “We are hopeful others will follow Pat’s lead and come to the aid of the more than five and half million Americans impacted by this disease.”
Summitt Honored: The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Monday that Summitt, former NBA All-Star Earvin “Magic” Johnson and youth basketball ambassador Boo Williams have all been named winners of the Mannie Jackson Basketball’s Human Spirit Award. The winners will be recognized on Sept. 7 during events leading up to the 2013 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremonies.
The criteria for award winners includes embracing the core values of the game, hard work, striving to improve the community and making a commitment to others. Beyond the game, award winners must reflect the values of Mannie Jackson’s life-long mission to overcome obstacles and challenge the status quo, while taking responsibility for his or her actions and seeking the highest standard of excellence. Jackson is the chairman and owner of the Harlem Globetrotters.
Time To Rest: Tennessee signee Mercedes Russell scored zero points in the WBCA high school All-American game in New Orleans last Saturday. The 6-foot-6 center grabbed seven rebounds while recording two assists, two blocks and a steal in 19 minutes.
“I was exhausted before the game began,” Russell said. “I was actually taking a nap in the stands. Our flight coming in here was delayed so we were all day in the airport and then (Friday) we had to be up really early.”
Russell said she plans to attend summer school at Tennessee and looks forward to fitting in with such Lady Vols as post players Isabelle Harrison and Bashaara Graves.
“I’ll add some more height and a mid-range game,” Russell said, “so we can have that high-low game.”