Thursday, February 25th, 2021

Pat Summitt honored with Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYS

Published on July 12, 2012


Tennessee Women’s Basketball Head Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award Wednesday night at the ESPYS, the annual ceremony presented by ESPN to honor teams and athletes. The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is presented to individuals whose contributions transcend sports.

“I’ve always said, you win in life with people,” said Summitt to the award audience. “And I have been so blessed to have great people in my life. My son, Tyler, and I appreciate all of your support.

“It is time to fight, and I ask all of you to join together with me, so we will win. I can tell you, tonight I am deeply touched as all of you heard my story. I’m going to keep on keeping on, I promise you that.”

A video tribute narrated by Reese Witherspoon gave the attendees and television views a glimpse into her life. and accomplishments.

Summitt is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA men’s or women’s basketball with 1,098 victories, She stepped away from head coaching duties in April after 38 seasons. She was diagnosed last August with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.

In her career she led the Lady Vols to eight national championships, 18 NCAA Final Fours and a combined 32 SEC regular season and tournament titles during that time before handing over the reigns to long-time assistant and former Lady Vol All-American Holly Warlick.

Peyton Manning’s Introductory Comments Prior to the Video Tribute

“In sports, we can sometimes become too reliant on statistics. If you hear too many numbers thrown around, over and over again, you might stop listening. But in this case, I hope that you are listening, because 1,098 wins, 16 SEC titles and eight national championships truly are incredible. However, they are only a part of why tonight belongs to legendary basketball coach Pat Summitt.

I first met Pat in 1994 when I was a freshman at the University of Tennessee. Since then, she’s been a mentor and a close friend, someone I can look up to and someone I can talk to. And I know I’m just one of many, many people Pat has guided over the years.

The best leaders in sports, leaders like Pat, leaders like the great Arthur Ashe, are the ones who use their game to teach you something about life. That’s what Pat has been doing for her players, for her friends, for her fans for decades. And when she got a piece of news that shocked all of us, as she and some of the people closest to her are about to tell you, Pat Summitt just kept on teaching.”


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