"She is definitely going to be missed," Rep. Marsha Blackburn says
The legendary basketball coach from Tennessee died Tuesday after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease
Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn said Tuesday that the late Pat Summitt, the winningest college basketball coach in NCAA history, was a role model for women and will be missed.
“She is definitely going to be missed,” she said on Fox News. “Pat Summitt was such a role model for young women. And I appreciated so much the fact that she continued to be supportive of young women.”
The legendary basketball coach from Tennessee died Tuesday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a statement from her son. She was a D-1 basketball coach in the NCAA, and her son said she was “a hero and a mentor” to all around her.
The White House released a statement from President Barack Obama that said, “Nobody walked off a college basketball court victorious more times than Tennessee’s Pat Summitt.”
Obama, who presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012, said in the statement that her legacy will carry with her winning streak and her 100% graduate rate among her players.
“Her legacy, however, is measured much more by the generations of young women and men who admired Pat’s intense competitiveness and character, and as a result found in themselves the confidence to practice hard, play harder, and live with courage on and off the court,” the statement read.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam tweeted a link video on Summit he recorded, writing “We have lost one of the greatest Tennesseans of all time.”
“It’s not an exaggeration at all to say that Pat changed the lives of so many people,” he said in the video. “Some of us in a direct way, but everybody in a way of having this vision for what it looked like to be focused on your mission, but again to remember that there’s a bigger picture going on that was way beyond winning basketball games.”
Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander said Summitt was a dedicated Tennessean who cared about her community.
“It’s hard for people outside Tennessee to understand just how much Pat Summitt became a part of the lives of so many citizens in our state,” he said in a statement. “Pat did far more than win eight national championships: She changed the lives of the young women she coached, she showed us the measure of a real champion and her fight against Alzheimer’s set an example for us all.”
And Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker tweeted that he was “deeply saddened” by the news of Summit’s death.
“Basketball has lost a legend, and Tennessee has lost one of its most beloved daughters,” Corker said in a statement.
Summit was the coach of the University of Tennessee women’s basketball team before Alzheimer’s disease forced her early retirement in 2012. She won eight NCAA titles.
CNN’s Naomi Lim contributed to this report.