Ashland City Reacts To Summit's Dementia Diagnosis - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Ashland City Reacts To Summit's Dementia Diagnosis

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By Chris Cannon

ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. - News of Pat Summitt's diagnosis of early onset dementia has taken many people in her hometown of Ashland City by surprise. But the Lady Vols coach said she has no plans to end her legendary career.

The basketball legend has one of the main highway's through Cheatham County named in her honor.

"I would say she's the most famous person that ever come from here. She's the only one that I know of," said Gary Reese.

He now owns the Ashland City dry cleaners that Summitt's family owned for 40 years.

At Cheatham Central High School, a trophy case outside the gym that bears Summitt's name chronicles the coach's accomplishments throughout the years.

She was an all-star player at the high school between 1966 and 1970. She then attended UT-Martin. Summit was a player on the 1976 Women's Olympic basketball team. She earned a silver medal during those games. Eight years later, as coach, Summitt took home Olympic gold.

In a video message Tuesday, Summitt said she plans to continue coaching the Lady Vols, despite her diagnosis.

"I've been honest and shared my health concerns with you and now we'll move forward to the business at hand," Summitt said.

Fans in her hometown know that means more victories for the Lady Vols.

"I really hope she can do it, get a few more wins. It would be wonderful to see her go out with a championship," Reese said.

Summitt said she will rely more heavily on her assistant coaches during the upcoming season, but will still be the head coach of the UT-Knoxville team.


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