In typical coach Summitt fashion, here's what she told the Knoxville News Sentinel:
I have poked a bit of fun at Pat Summitt here in my blog, I call her the Queen, and The Summitt, and even The Grande Summitt (I think) but it's been in good fun. Even if I didn't always root for her team, I've always loved watching Summitt. Almost single-handedly, she dragged women's basketball onto the front pages of the sports sections. For years, for decades really, she was the face of women's basketball. She carried the sport and, in doing so, she carried all female athletes and all of us. I love her for that.
"There's not going to be any pity party and I'll make sure of that, ... I feel better just knowing what I'm dealing with. And as far as I'm concerned it's not going to keep me from living my life, not going to keep me from coaching."
So today's news made me truly, deeply sad. Just in your bones sad. I wish her, her team and her family all the best. And I hope that Summitt can find a way to coach for a good while longer at Tennessee. Still I have to admit, dementia is a scary bastard.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information's website, "Most types of dementia are nonreversible (degenerative). Nonreversible means the changes in the brain that are causing the dementia cannot be stopped or turned back."
Summitt is tough and brave and strong. Basically, in a National Championship, my money's on Summitt. In a street fight, my money's on Summitt. In a battle against most diseases or illnesses, my money would always be on Summitt. No question.
But when it comes to dementia, I haven't heard many success stories. I don't think it can be 'beaten,' but if anybody can find a way to thrive despite dementia, this lady is it. Good luck, coach.