Sports fans mourned the death of Pat Summitt this week, who died at the age of 64. The infamous basketball coach led the University of Tennessee women’s basketball team from 1974 to 2012, becoming the winningest coach in NCAA history, according to NPR.
But GetReligion.org editor Terry Mattingly reports that the media missed a major detail of Summitt’s life as they wrote their tributes to the basketball superstar: Summitt was baptized in 2012 alongside her son Tyler; Summit’s Christian faith was an important part of her life.
The Pat Summitt Foundation website says, “Motherhood suited Pat, and on September 21, 1990, she and R.B. Summitt II had their first and only child, Ross ‘Tyler’ Summitt. The relationship between a mother and son is a special one, and they had an unbreakable bond built on their love for God and for one another. They also shared a passion for the game of basketball, a game that would provide the two of them many unique moments and milestones, side by side.
“She was most proud of one special moment they shared that outshines all the others. On May 5, 2012, Pat and Tyler were baptized together. On this day, they decided together to go public with their faith and professed their love for and acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. On this day, they created the ultimate and eternal memory, together.”
As it were, Summitt was baptized less than one year after she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease, and less than one month after announcing her resignation from coaching. The Washington Post did not mention it; neither did The New York Times. However, Summitt’s statement of faith would have been a legacy she wanted to leave behind.
Publication date: July 1, 2016