2012 ESPY Awards: Pat Summitt Tribute, Receives Arthur Ashe Courage Award [Video]

Rucuss staffJuly 12, 2012

There was hardly a dry eye at the Nokia Theater or living rooms across the country when legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage award at the ESPY awards Wednesday night.

Summitt’s tribute began with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who first met the women’s coach during his college days on the campus of  the University of Tennessee. He talked about how her fight against Alzheimer’s disease has inspired him. He then introduced a tribute video to Summitt and then remained on stage to present her the Arthur Ashe Award.

Actress Reese Witherspoon narrated the 10-minute tribute video highlighting Summitt’s accomplishments as a coach and efforts to raise awareness about the disease. Summitt then took the stage, escorted by her son Tyler.

“I’ve always said you win life with people and I have been so blessed to  have great people in my life,” Summitt said during her acceptance speech. “My son Tyler and I appreciate all of your  support during this time. That’s the next challenge for me and Tyler.  It is time to fight. I ask all of you to join me together so we will  win. I can tell you tonight, I am deeply touched as all of you heard my  story. I’m going to keep on keeping on, I promise you that.”

Some of her former players were in attendance, which included WNBA player Candice Parker who looked on teary-eyed as her former coach spoke to the crowd.

Pat Summitt - The 2012 ESPY Awards - Backstage & Audience

Summitt, who suffers from early onset dementia, racked up eight national titles during her career and leads the NCAA basketball history books with the most wins in both men and men. She just finished up her final season as head coach and has taken on the role of Head Coach Emeritus.

Watch the tribute below.


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