On Tuesday, the sports world lost an icon in former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, the woman who won more games than any other person in NCAA Division I basketball history passed away. Of course the wins on the court were just a small part of Summitt'e legacy, as she was much more than a coach, but a pioneer for women in sports and beyond.
And around 11 a.m. ET, President Barack Obama released his own statement on Summitt's passing which read:
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"Nobody walked off a college basketball court victorious more times than Tennessee's Pat Summitt. For four decades, she outworked her rivals, made winning an attitude, loved her players like family, and became a role model to millions of Americans, including our two daughters. Her unparalleled success includes never recording a losing season in 38 years of coachingâ, but also, and more importantly, a 100 percent graduation rate among her players who completed their athletic eligibility. Her legacy, however, is measured much more by the generations of young women and men who admired Pat's intense competitiveness and character, and as a result found in themselves the confidence to practice hard, play harder, and live with courage on and off the court. As Pat once said in recalling her achievements, "What I see are not the numbers. I see their faces."
Pat learned early on that everyone should be treated the same. When she would play basketball against her older brothers in the family barn, they didn't treat her any differently and certainly didn't go easy on her. Later, her Hall of Fame career would tell the story of the historic progress toward equality in American athletics that she helped advance. Pat started playing college hoops before Title IX and started coaching before the NCAA recognized women's basketball as a sport. When she took the helm at Tennessee as a 22-year-old, she had to wash her players' uniforms; by the time Pat stepped down as the Lady Vols' head coach, her teams wore eight championship rings and had cut down nets in sold-out stadiums."
WATCH: Pat Summitt receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2012. RIP.https://t.co/lox2ho7E73— CSPAN (@cspan) June 28, 2016
It's an incredibly touching tribute, especially when you consider that Obama is the same man who handed Summitt a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.