KNOXVILLE (WATE) — When you think about what legacy a person will leave, a lot of times you don’t really know until they’re gone.
Pat Summitt accomplished so much. Her legacy was clear and obvious while she was alive. As she is remembered a year after her death, there are constant reminders that her legacy is still felt and will always be.
“Just an extraordinary, phenomenal, incredible woman,” said three-time Olympic gold medalist Sheryl Swoopes.
This year’s Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame class spoke about what Pat Summitt means to each of them as they sat in the hall she built.
“What we’ve got today is because of Pat Summitt,” said MTSU women’s basketball head coach Rick Insell.
“It’s a shame Pat can’t be there this year because I would’ve really liked to thank her,” said former All-American Kara Wolters.
Some of the inductees simply crossed paths with Summitt. Others called her a friend.
More coverage: Pat Summitt
“Pat Summitt was a friend of mine,” said former Iowa athletic director Christine Grant.
Wounds from saying goodbye are still fresh just one year later.
“To lose her, sometimes it’s still hard to think she’s gone,” said Insell.
She’s gone, but not forgotten.
“When you think about women’s basketball, you will forever think about Pat Summitt because she did so many great things for the game,” said Swoopes. “Not just winning -because she did a lot of that, but the way she carried herself, the way she represented the game, what she stood for, and how she got the best out of her players.”
“Clearly, you’d be deaf, dumb and blind if you didn’t know that Pat Summitt was a highly successful coach and that she brought focus on this sport in a way that was good for us,” said women’s basketball contributor Louise O’Neal.
There will be coaches who win more games and beat her records, but Pat Summitt will be the reason they do it.
“Her footprints on this sport will never be erased,” said Insell.
“Pat was so much more to basketball than I think anybody in the history of the game. And she will always be the biggest part in my mind of women’s basketball,” said Bell.
“She’s dearly missed but nobody will let her legacy die,” said Wolters. “Even my kids, their kids and their kids will all know what Pat Summitt has done for the sport of women’s basketball because that is amazing.