I remember the exact moment I fell in love with basketball and told myself I would one day play in college. It was 1996 and I was in 4th grade living in Stillwater, OK watching Tennessee play in the Final Four.Before there was Geno, UCONN, and and the streaks. Growing up in the late 90's it was all about Pat Summitt and the Tennessee Lady Vols. Tennessee and Coach Summitt were hands down the best, no questions asked. Everyone wanted to be a Lady Vol back in those days. I was memorized and couldn't stop picturing myself playing there one day for Coach Summitt. Chamique Holdsclaw and Kellie Jolly quickly became my favorite players and from that moment on, I dedicate my life to the game basketball.
After months of begging my mom, in the summers going in to 7th, 8th, and 9th grade she agreed to let me fly down to Knoxville to attend the Lady Vol Basketball Camp. I was in heaven. Bright orange and baby blue everywhere. Finally getting the opportunity to meet my favorite players, and the woman that single-handedly changed my life through the game of basketball was one of the best moments of my life. As much as I have become a fan of Geno, UCONN, and all of the talented players that have be through their program in recent years, Tennessee will always have my heart when it comes to women's college basketball.
A year ago today, Coach Summitt passed away after a lengthy battle with alzheimer's. I can honestly say I owe this woman so much for being the reason why I started to take the game serious and fall in love with playing. I will forever be grateful for her impact on my life and how she shaped the game of basketball for us all. Thank you.