Pat Summitt to receive Medal of Freedom from President Obama at ceremony Tuesday
Almost two months after announcing her retirement from the game of basketball, legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt will be honored by President Barack Obama and presented with the Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony Tuesday.
Among those also receiving the award are astronaut John Glenn, author Toni Morrison, musician Bob Dylan, and Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a civilian, made in recognition of an “especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, or world peace, or cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
Summitt retired in mid-April, months after revealing that she had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia.
Over her 38 seasons with Tennessee, Summitt compiled a record of 1098-208, winning 16 SEC tournament championships and eight national titles.
She was named NCAA Coach of the Year eight times and the Naismith Coach of the Century in 2000.
In 2008, Summitt pledged $600,000 to the University of Tennessee, with her donation going to fund the women’s basketball program.
Summitt has been a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame since 1999.