KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Tennessee Head Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt is at the center of many prayers going up around Knoxville and the nation.
A statement was released on behalf of Summitt’s family:
“On behalf of Pat Summitt’s family, we acknowledge the past few days have been difficult for Pat as her early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type,’ progresses. She is surrounded by those who mean the most to her and during this time, we ask for prayers for Pat and her family and friends, as well as your utmost respect and privacy. Thank you.”
ESPN reporter Mechelle Voepel said she was told in confidence Friday that many close to Summitt have gone to see her this weekend. She said Los Angeles Sparks player and former Lady Vol Candace Parker left after the Sparks win Friday in Minnesota to go to Knoxville to see ailing Summit. Parker retweeted a tweet by Good Morning America’sRobin Roberts asking for prayers.
Summitt announced in August 2011 she had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. She completed the season with a reduced role as her assistant Holly Warlick took on much of the coaching duties, before announcing the season would be her last. Warlick would be named head coach the following season.
Others tweeting to #PrayForPat include Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones, Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs, former Tennessee assistant football coach and Duke University head football coach David Cutcliffe and former Lady Vol Meighan Simmons.