Pat Summitt and members of her foundation started Tuesday with a press conference at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame to salute the SEC for its support of Alzheimer’s awareness.
“I am honored and humbled that the Southeastern Conference schools continue to support the work of the Pat Summitt Foundation’s fight against Alzheimer’s,” said Summitt, the head coach emeritus at Tennessee.
“The ‘We Back Pat’ Week not only brings public attention to our cause, but it also helps raise funds that will be awarded by our foundation in the form of grants to organizations who battle this disease every day.”
Tuesday’s press conference
The SEC has dedicated this week’s games to “We Back Pat” initiatives with players wearing special T-shirts and schools raising awareness via video endorsements and public address announcements that spotlight Summitt’s foundation.
During Tuesday's press conference, Jim Haslam II, chairman of the foundation's advisory board, showed how to use a phone to support Summitt - text the word "coach" to the number 50555, and $10 will be donated to the foundation.
Tennessee’s “We Back Pat” game will be this Sunday against Alabama.
T-shirts and “Fierce Courage” bracelets will be available on the concourse.
They also can be purchased at the foundation’s website by CLICKING HERE.
A very limited-edition print by local artist Carl Hess also will be available for purchase at the arena.
The oil painting depicts Summitt’s eight national titles, and 100 exclusive signed 22-inch x 28-inch prints will be available as part of a fundraising effort for the foundation. The original was given to Summitt as a gift.
The print can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.
Assistant coach Kyra Elzy’s campaign to donate $50 for every SEC win for Tennessee is gathering support via Twitter. Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb joined the effort with this tweet: “I don’t have a rooting interest in SEC, but I DO have interest in supporting Pat and Alzheimer’s research. Count me in-50 per win.”
Information on joining Elzy’s efforts can be found by CLICKING HERE.
SEC officials, led by former Lady Vol Dawn Marsh, also are backing Summitt.
A story on the SEC's website can be read by CLICKING HERE.
Summitt even has support from Iraq. A delegation of coaches and players attended Summitt’s camp in 2009 as part of an outreach to strengthen young girls via sports. The impact was long lasting on both sides.
“Everyone needs her, her girls, America, basketball, sport, people everywhere around the world, they need her,” Khoshee says on the video.
The Iraqi team hung a banner in the gym and wore shirts in support of Summitt.
Information can be found by CLICKING HERE.
The video is below: