- Joined Apr 3, 2011
[h1]Pat Summitt has early onset dementia[/h1]
[h5]Pat Summitt Diagnosed With Dementia[/h5]
Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with early onset dementia.Tags: Pat Summitt, Dementia, Early Onset Dementia
Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with early onset dementia, but plans to continue coaching in her 38th season with the Lady Vols.
"There's not going to be any pity party and I'll make sure of that," she told the Knoxville News Sentinel Monday evening.
Summitt, 59, told the newspaper she believed her behavior had been erratic in recent months, and went to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for tests in May.
The tests revealed early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type, she said, adding that her grandmother had Alzheimer's, according to the newspaper.
"Nobody accepts this," her son, Tyler, told the News Sentinel. "And there was anger. 'Why me?' was a question she asked more than once. But then, once she came to terms with it, she treated it like every other challenge she ever had, and is going to do everything she possibly can to keep her mind right and stay to coach."
She said she plans to use medication and mental exercises to help combat what is considered a progressive disease that could lead to Alzheimer's.
Summitt has eight NCAA titles to her credit, most recently in 2007-08, and is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history (men or women), with 1,071 victories.
She also coached the United States to the gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics, and won silver as a player in 1976.
"I was shocked and saddened to hear about the news regarding Pat Summitt's diagnosis," UConn coach Geno Auriemma, a longtime adversary, said Tuesday afternoon. "You don't necessarily associate dementia with people our age so this announcement really put things in perspective. Pat has great support from her family, friends and staff and I know they will help her immensely. There is no doubt in my mind that Pat will take on this challenge as she has all others during her Hall of Fame career -- head-on. I wish her all the best."
Information from ESPN.com's Andy Katz and The Associated Press was used in this report.