TENNESSEE COACH PAT SUMMITT HEADLINES INSPIRING WOMEN NIGHT
Pat Summitt, legendary coach at the University of Tennessee and the winningest men’s or women’s basketball coach in NCAA history, will be the featured guest during the Indiana Fever’s Inspiring Women Night, July 30, when the Fever hosts the Connecticut Sun (7:00 p.m.).
A hall of fame coach who has guided the Lady Volunteers to eight national championships since 1974, Summitt owns 1,005 career victories. She is a seven-time NCAA Coach of the Year and, in 2000, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Summitt highlights the Fever’s annual Inspiring Women Night which honors local women of distinction. Past featured guests include ABC News’ “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts in 2007, and former Fever and U.S. Olympic coach Anne Donovan in 2008. Summitt, who played for the U.S. Olympic Team in 1976 and coached Donovan on the 1984 team, bears distinction with Donovan as the only American women ever to play in the Olympics and later return as head coach.
A national basketball icon and motivational speaker, Summitt will take part in a pregame reception open to VIPs, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Three ticket packages are available for individuals and corporations to take part in Summitt’s special visit and a private pregame reception. Each package includes a commemorative photo of Summitt and her former Tennessee pupil, Fever star Tamika Catchings, plus a WNBA Spalding notebook. Fever season ticket holders may purchase VIP packages at special prices without the game ticket. All packages are available by visiting FeverBasketball.com, or calling (317) 917-2500.
Summitt’s visit to Indianapolis re-unites her with a pair of longtime acquaintances in Catchings and Fever coach Lin Dunn.
Summitt coached Catchings at Tennessee during four seasons from 1997-98 to 2000-01, with the Lady Vols winning a national title during Catchings’ freshman season. Catchings was a four-time All-American under Summitt and was named the national freshman of the year in 1998. Dunn and Summitt share the same alma maters, with undergraduate degrees at Tennessee-Martin and graduate degrees at Tennessee-Knoxville. Coincidentally, they also share the same sorority at UT-Martin and Dunn later recruited Summitt when she was a player.
The only men’s or women’s Division I college basketball coach to eclipse 1,000 wins, Summitt has co-authored a pair of books with renowned sports columnist and feature writer Sally Jenkins. Reach for the Summitt is a part motivational book and part biography and Raise the Roof detailed the Vols’ undefeated campaign in 1997-98 in which Summitt and Catchings won the NCAA title. She has two streets named after her, one on the UT-Knoxville campus and one on the UT-Martin campus. She also is the only person to have two basketball courts used by Division I basketball teams named in her honor: “Pat Head Summitt Court” at UT-Martin, and “The Summitt” at UT-Knoxville.
Summitt will be a featured halftime guest and speaking to the Fever crowd. Also at halftime, the Fever will honor its own class of 2009 “Inspiring Women,” comprised of top female sports and community leaders from Central Indiana.