As some of you know that I'm pretty much a rabid or serious fan of NCAA Women's Basketball for more than 15 years. And some of you already knew that I am a loyal fan of Virginia Cavaliers and Debbie Ryan. Whom do I hated, berated, cursed, condemned, bashed, firebombed, nuked and smashed the team most of all?
Tennessee Lady Volunteers. Why? They posted 11 victories over Virginia, some of the losses were devastating for me, psychologically and spiritually. Virginia only posted a win over Pat Summitt and Tennessee Lady Volunteers in '90.
But do I have the respect and admiration for Pat Summitt? Yes, I do. In 31 years of being the Coach of Tennessee Lady Volunteers, she amassed 6 National Championships and 15 Final Four appearances. Today, after Tennessee's win over Purdue in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament, Pat Summitt now has 880 wins against 171 losses, becoming the nation's most winningest coach, surpassing Dean Smith of North Carolina's Men Basketball team who amassed 879 wins in 36 years. Evidently, Pat is the fastest one in 31 years, already beating Dean and she could go for 1,000 in 4 years.
She recruited very well, coached very well. During the '94 NAD Conference in Knoxville, I sneaked to Thompson-Bolling Arena and met Pat and Mickie DeMoss, they showed me around the locker room. They were very nice. They asked me if I'm fan of UT? I said, "Never will. I'm UVa fan." They smiled and teased me to get out of the locker room.
Another admiration of her is when UT got Tamika Catchings to play for Pat, her hearing was declining and she was missing the calls, conversations and all important stuff during the practices. Pat had her to be tested with an audiologist who confirmed that she is gradually losing the hearing. Pat told her to get the hearing aids, Tamika refused. Tamika cited that people will make fun of her because of this odd thing on her ears.
Tamika mentioned in the papers that Coach Summitt bluntly informed her, "I wear glasses! I wear the braces! So you use it or you won't play." Tamika got the message and wore the hearing aids. Tamika ended up being First Teal All-American for two seasons. Basically, I admired Pat because she was being honest.