And encourage some assistance.
The university will use land across from Thompson-Boling Arena and Pratt Pavilion to build a plaza featuring a bronze statue of Summitt. It will be called Pat Summitt Plaza. UT issued a release on Wednesday elaborating on plans for a Summitt statue that UT athletic director Dave Hart first mentioned last month.
“It’s a very fitting tribute to Pat,” Hart said Wednesday night at the showing of “Pat XO”, a documentary on Summitt. “I’m extremely confident it will be done in a first-class manner and people will respond.”
While unsure of the total cost, Hart said the plaza will be privately funded through donations. Fans can support the project through the Tennessee Fund. According to patsummittplaza.com, a $1,000 donation receives recognition on the plaza and a print from the dedication, along with priority points. A framed print from the dedication is added to the package for a $5,000 donation. A $10,000 donation adds an invitation to the dedication dinner.
At Summitt’s charity golf tournament in May, Hart said that the university planned to unveil a statue of Summitt as part of the renovated streetscape on Lake Loudoun Boulevard near the university’s athletic facilities.
The plaza will be built at the corner of Lake Loudoun Boulevard and Phillip Fulmer Way. It will greet fans as they arrive for basketball games at the arena, where the court is named after Summitt. The artist depiction shows flower beds and a wall framing the statue. The wall curls up behind the statue, finishing with a basketball-net design.
Summitt, who officially stepped down from full-time coaching and assumed the title of head coach emeritus last year, already has been honored with a statue at UT Martin, her alma mater.
Hart said that he hoped to have a dedication ceremony during the fall.
“I’m hoping this fall at some point during the middle to late part of the football season we could have a dedication,” he said. “A lot of things have to fall into place for us to hit that target, but I’m hopeful that we can find a way to hit that target.”
Fans can support the project with a donation through the Tennessee Fund by calling 865-974-1218, visit patsummittplaza.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.