Former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt is struggling with early onset dementia, and according to a statement released over the weekend, her family is "preparing for the worst."
Supporters, friends and former players spoke out on Twitter using the hashtag #PrayForPat as the news of Summitt's health surfaced:
I hope every female athlete understands how 1 Tennessean changed the course of women's sports forever. My daughter will 1 day. #PrayForPat
— Jacques McClendon (@jmcc65) June 26, 2016
No coach has ever had a more profound and lasting impact on their sport than Pat Summitt. #PrayForPat
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) June 26, 2016
— Robin Roberts (@RobinRoberts) June 27, 2016
— Josh Dobbs (@josh_dobbs1) June 26, 2016
Summitt is living at a retirement center and was surrounded by family and former players on Saturday when a statement was released by the Pat Summitt Foundation:
"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."
Summitt is one of the most successful coaches in the history of college basketball and she was a trailblazer for women in sports throughout her career. She won eight national championships at the University of Tennessee and 1,098 games total as a coach.
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