Commentary

Yankees join Summitt for cause

Originally Published: September 1, 2013
By Ian Begley | Special to espnW.com

NEW YORK -- Legendary coach Pat Summitt continued her public battle against Alzheimer's disease on Sunday.

Summitt and her son, Tyler, were at Yankee Stadium to launch "Worldwide Alzheimer's Awareness Month."

Summitt, the former University of Tennessee women's hoops coach, has early onset Alzheimer's.

[+] EnlargeTyler and Pat Summitt
Brad Penner/USA TODAY SportsTyler and Pat Summitt helped the New York Yankees launch Worldwide Alzheimer's Awareness Month.

"Tyler and I have joined the battle against Alzheimer's not just for us but for the millions affected by this disease," she said in a video message posted on the JumboTron.

The 61-year-old Summitt, who is the NCAA's all-time winningest coach (man or woman) with 1,098 career victories, hung out in the dugout shortly before the first pitch of Sunday's Yankees-Orioles game. She was introduced behind home plate with members of the Alzheimer's Association.

Summitt was greeted warmly by the crowd and shook hands and took pictures with Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

Summitt called her battle with Alzheimer's her "toughest opponent yet" in a video message, but added, "together, we will win."

Pat and Tyler Summitt received the 2012 Sargent and Eunice Shriver Profiles in Dignity Award from the Alzheimer's Association for their work with the Pat Summitt Foundation.

"My son, Tyler, and I want to thank the New York Yankees for stepping up in a big way to increase awareness and funding for the fight against Alzheimer's disease," Summitt said in a statement. "We are honored to have been invited to stand with them and the Alzheimer's Association to launch this monthlong public awareness effort."

Summitt, who won eight national titles at Tennessee, announced to the public that she was stepping down as coach in April 2012 due to the disease, which has affected approximately 5 million Americans and is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Summitt now serves as Tennessee's head coach emeritus.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.