LSU JOINS SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE, SEC MEMBER INSTITUTIONS IN RECOGNIZING “WE BACK PAT” WEEK
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – LSU, the Southeastern Conference and the SEC’s member institutions announce “We Back Pat” Week, a week-long initiative focused on bringing awareness and recognition to the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and its fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
During the week of Jan. 15-22, SEC member institutions will support the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund during their home basketball games. During the 17 women’s and 12 men’s games slated for the week, various efforts will be made to increase awareness of the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund. Twenty of these games will be televised.
The LSU women’s basketball team will play three televised games during “We Back Pat” week, including Thursday, Jan. 19 at Tennessee when LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell faces her mentor in Summitt. The LSU men’s basketball team hosts Auburn on Tuesday, Dec. 17 then travels to Florida on Saturday, Jan. 21 as part of the festivities.
Fans can contribute to the Foundation and recognize the cause by purchasing a “We Back Pat” LSU t-shirt, Jan. 15-22, which will be sold through www.LSUshop.net. Proceeds of the shirt will go directly to the Pat Summitt Foundation.
Caldwell played for Summitt from 1990-94 and then joined the Hall of Famer’s staff as an assistant coach in 2002. In six seasons as an assistant coach at Tennessee, Caldwell was part of a staff that won two NCAA national championships, three SEC regular season championships and three SEC Tournament championships. As a freshman at Tennessee in 1991, Caldwell was a member of a Lady Vol squad that went 30-5 overall and claimed the NCAA national title.
“It says a lot about the SEC, the administrators and the coaching staffs from every school to come together for this initiative for Coach Summitt,” said Caldwell. “It took a lot of courage for Coach Summitt, but she’s always been one of our most courageous leaders. She never backs down from opponents nor will she back down from this challenge.”
Beyond the wins, the championships and the Final Four appearances, Caldwell says the values and lessons Summitt taught her during her playing and coaching days helped shape the person she is today.
“She’s such a remarkable person,” added Caldwell. “She’s meant so much to me outside of basketball. We all love her to death and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for her. The best thing we can do is support her foundation and keep her in our prayers. As a former player and a former assistant for her, the way she has handled it has given us strength.”
The Pat Summitt Foundation Fund launched Nov. 27, 2011, by Pat Summitt after her diagnosis of early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type at the age of 59. In a videotaped statement shown during the announcement of the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund, Pat Summitt said, “Tyler and I have decided to join this battle, not just for us, but also for the millions of families affected by this disease. I have always told our players, our greatest opportunities are disguised as our greatest obstacles. It is time to treat this obstacle as an opportunity and a stepping stone to a cure.”
“Pat Summitt is a leader both on and off the court,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Sliver. “The establishment of the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund only reiterates this point. We are pleased that the Southeastern Conference can play a small part in helping Pat reach her goals for The Foundation Fund today and in the future.”
The Pat Summitt Foundation Fund will make grants to nonprofits which provide:
• Education and awareness of Alzheimer’s, its onset and treatment
• Support services to patients, their families and caregivers
• Research to treat, prevent, cure, and ultimately eradicate this disease
About The Pat Summitt Foundation Fund
Pat Summitt and her supporters have entrusted The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to facilitate the charitable work of The Pat Summitt Foundation Fund. The Fund was established to support Pat Summitt’s dream of finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
About The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee oversees more than 800 charitable funds. In the past twenty years, The Community Foundation has distributed $530 million to community programs and institutions. It is located at 3833 Cleghorn Avenue, #400, Nashville, Tennessee 37215.
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