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CAPE vs. TENNESSEE SECONDARY SCHOOLS ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION: PAT SUMMITT’S FULL COURT PRESS

This column was printed in the August, 2016 issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal and is reprinted here with the permission of the Tennessee Bar Association.

She won more games than any coach in the history of college basketball.  She won eight national championships.  She coached the U.S. Women’s Team to an Olympic Gold Medal and had a graduation rate of 100%.  Every athlete that played for her for four years graduated.

But one of Pat Summitt’s biggest victories came not on the basketball court but in a courtroom where she testified as an expert witness on behalf of a young non-shooting guard named Victoria Cape.

ON BOARD THE GLACIER EXPRESS

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN ZERMOTT AND ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND: I love trains. Some of the happiest days of my life have been on trains. 

When I was 5 years old, my mother and I took a train trip from Memphis to Little Rock. I cannot recall why we made the trip. What I do recall is that it was a grand adventure, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

EXPLORING IRELAND FROM THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD

SOMEWHERE ON A WINDING NARROW ROAD IN COUNTY CORK – If Ireland were an amusement park, I am now on its most terrifying ride.  I am driving on the wrong side of the road in the Irish countryside seated on the wrong side of the car.

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM

Next week the Republicans will gather in Cleveland for their National Convention and will nominate for President a very unpopular man named Donald Trump. 

Later this month, the Democrats will gather in Philadelphia for their National Convention and nominate for President a very unpopular woman named Hillary Clinton.

REMEMBERING PAT SUMMITT, AN ALMOST EMPTY GYM, AND THE NIGHT MY FATHER CALLED FOR THE "GENTLEMEN VOLS"

All my life my heroes have been volunteers.  Tennessee Volunteers.  Orange and white clad athletes who have inspired me by running, throwing or catching passes or tackling or putting a ball in a basket.  There is a long list of such heroes I have had for over 60 years from Johnny Majors to Condredge Holloway to Ernie Grunfeld to Bernard King to Reggie White to Peyton Manning to Tee Martin.  But my number one Vol hero of all time was a country gal from Henrietta, Tennessee named Pat Summitt.