Pat Summitt

This isn’t quite high school-related, but when I worked in Kona right out of college back in the 1990s, Pat Summitt left a lasting impression on me. She announced her retirement today, news that was widely anticipated, but still stunning, at least to me. She seemed to be ageless. Steady as an oak tree and tough as one, too.

UT came to the Kona Women’s Classic back in the 1990s along with three other nationally-ranked powerhouses. There was talk that ESPN would turn the fledgling tournament into a big-time annual event. During practice, Coach Summit had her fill with a sensational young freshman: “CHAMIQUE! IF YOU WANT TO ACT LIKE A FRESHMAN, I CAN TREAT YOU LIKE ONE!”

Frozen silence. A chill fell on the steamy, beachside gym on another 90-degree Kona afternoon. Practice went quite smoothly for the Lady Vols the rest of the day, the rest of the week and the rest of the season.

Pat Summitt played no favorites. Ever.

Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser


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