Thursday, April 19 2012 3:24 PM EDT2012-04-19 19:24:42 GMT
A relaxed and smiling Pat Summitt said "it has been a privilege" to be the Tennessee women's basketball coach four nearly four decades.more>>
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House said former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.
President Barack Obama said Summitt is an "inspiration" as the coach who has won more games than anyone else in NCAA college basketball history and for her willingness to "speak so openly and courageously about her battle with Alzheimer's."
The White House said Summitt was notified last week of Obama's decision to present her with the award. It will be presented later this year.
Summitt announced Wednesday she was stepping aside as Tennessee's head coach after 38 seasons. Summitt said in August that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia.
Summitt has won eight national titles and 1,098 games during her coaching career at Tennessee.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)