Pat Summit Faces Personal Challenges Off-Court

Basketball coaching great discuses her new book, early-onset Alzheimer's.
2:30 | 03/05/13

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Transcript for Pat Summit Faces Personal Challenges Off-Court
And finally tonight, if you happen to meet a basketball champion, there's a good chance they can quote the advice of the winningest coach in all of college hoops, pat summitt. For instance, her reminder, when you are ever in trouble, think, left foot, right foot, breathe and go forward. She also says, when you ask yourself, do I deserve to succeed, make sure that answer is yes. And now that summitt herself is facing tough times, she sits down with someone who learned a lot from her, her friend and protege, our own robin roberts. Pat summitt, hugs all around. Reporter: She is the champion of making young women believe in them I don't know about y'all, but I want to win a national championship. Reporter: You could string together around the globe all the grateful athletes from her 38-year coaching career. Proud of themselves tonight because of her. Pat summitt. Oh, robin. Reporter: Recalling faces from her past. She was a piece of work. But she could flat out play. Reporter: Something her doctors and family quietly take note of because the progression of this incurable disease is marked, cruelly, by how much your life disappears from memory. Those trophies look pretty good! Reporter: She was diagnosed with alzheimer's two years ago, telling me then what triggered a visit to the doctor. I'd wake up in the morning and, you know, I'd think, "where am i?" Reporter: And so pat decided to step aside as coach. I knew I was dealing with you know, the onset dementia. And -- you know, that was -- that was hard, at first. Reporter: You wrote early on in the book, "have you ever walked along a shoreline, only to have your footprints washed away by the surf? That's what alzheimer's is li the waves steadily erase the marks we leave in the sand all the sand castles." I know you asked this a lot, pat, how does it feel to have alzheimer's? You know, I just -- I get a game plan. Go into practice and, as time went on, you know, I thought, i can do this. I can do this. Reporter: Do this, she says, and do it here. On these familiar sidelines where she still shows up to let her beloved lady vols know she is there, watching, cheering. You know, just staying alive. And summitt's son once said

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