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The world loses a great one in Pat Summitt. her main rival, the UConn women look to heal.

POSTED June 28, 2016
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


WEST HARTFORD: The world lost a great one on Tuesday when former Tennessee women’s basketball legend Pat Summitt left us at the tender young age of 64.

A pioneer in the women’s basketball world, Summitt put the game on the map and in the process, helped send some of the best young women in the world out into the world.

Saw a stat today that stated that every Pat Summitt-coached player who completed her eligibility at Tennessee graduated. For 38 straight years. Remarkable.

Who could forget the stare? Husbands think they might get “The Look” at times. What we get is nothing compared to what happened if you turned the ball over or took a bad shot that got your head coaches attention.

Yikes!

Summitt is in the Basketball Hall of Fame, she was named NCAA Coach of the Year seven times, helped put forth 21 All-Americans and earned eight National Champions.

For as much as folks love UConn head coach Geno Auriemma around here, the folks that bleed Volunteer Orange loved their Pat.

To be able to say that you helped shape countless young ladies around the world to understand that they could do anything, become anyone they wanted to be was the gift that Pat Summitt left all those who knew her.

-It sure was strange not seeing the “Big Three” at the Annual Geno Auriemma Fore the Kids Golf Tournament on Monday.

Did I miss Stewart, Tuck and Jefferson?

Did they have a previous engagement?

No, they are gone. Graduated and off to the WNBA after rolling to four consecutive National Championships during their time as Huskies.

They took with them nearly 45 points per game and 16 rebounds that will have to be replaced by an underclass that has to grow up fast.

If they thought it was strange not having them around in June, wait until November when the real work begins in going for a fifth straight title.

On Monday, it was part team get together, part Mash unit as the walking wounded were on hand, led by the player expected to take over for Moriah Jefferson, Crystal Dangerfield, on crutches after having hip surgery earlier this month.

Katie Lou Samuelson, who will be expected to take a much more active role in both the scoring department and leadership department, is still recovering from broken bone in her left foot, sustained in the semi-finals.

Naphessa Collier is still on the mend from a bothersome hip while incoming freshman Kyla Irwin was in a boot for her left foot and a cast on her right hand.

Good thing it’s summer!

This will be one interesting season coming up as the Huskies will be the hunted, one might say.

Teams will be lining up (and already have) for a shot at the champs, now that the big three are gone.

You have to figure Auriemma is going to utilize that fact to add another layer of motivation to a program so famous for having plenty of it.

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