Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Ascension From Rocky Top

...to us the color is a flag of pride,
Because it identifies us as Lady Vols and, therefore, 
As women of an unmistakable type.  Fighters.  
I remember how many of them fought for a better life themselves.  
I just met them halfway.
- Pat Summitt

If you believe in the illusion that Life is fair, then Tinkerbell likely had to blow an additional shot of fairy dust into your coffee yesterday morning just so you could make it through the day once you had learned of Pat Summitt's death at the far-too-young age of sixty-four.  If you live an illusion-free existence, then you accepted the news as being par for the course in our celestial day-to-day, and appropriately broken to the world on a Tuesday, thus reinforcing its status as the week's worst day. 

Although she earned her living as the Head Coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers Basketball Team, which team she coached to 1,098 victories and eight NCAA titles during her thirty-eight years on the sideline, Pat Summitt's influence extended far beyond the ninety-four feet of hardwood she patrolled with unwavering intensity for close to four decades in Knoxville. I dare you to read this story that Princeton University's hoops coach Courtney Banghart shared on her Twitter account yesterday and not smile - at least a little.

Every one of the teenagers who came to Tennessee to play basketball for Pat Summitt earned her degree, irrespective of how much playing time she earned, and became an inextricable part of the fabric of Summitt's life as the coach did hers.  

She may have "just met them halfway" but, once she did, she remained with them forever...

...something which neither death nor time shall diminish.  

-AK  


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