Pat Summit on Off-Court Battle With Alzheimer's Disease

Most successful basketball coach in history discusses life since leaving the court to battle illness
6:03 | 03/05/13

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Transcript for Pat Summit on Off-Court Battle With Alzheimer's Disease
Reporter: Such an unstoppable force that when she made the stunning announcement she was diagnosed with early onset dimentia, it sent shock waves around the country. In a new documentary, the normally stoic pat breaks down discussing how difficult it was to decide to step down at tennessee. It was hard. You know, because I didn't -- i didn't want to, but I felt like I needed to step down. Reporter: Oh. Hey, robin. How you doing? Reporter: Oh, pat, so good to see you. You said that hearing numbers and things don't mean as much. But you see a player, it will spark a memory. Oh, yeah. Judy rankin was a hoot. the head coach emerit of the lady vols. Attending practices and all the home games. What do you miss most? Being on the court. Reporter: This is so pretty. She still drives herself to practice, cooks, and takes her beloved labs, sally and sadie, for daily walks. I had chance to catch up with pat at her home in knoxville to talk about her new boom, summing up an incredible life. The book is beautiful, pat. When you said, "sum it up," you summed it up. "Sum it up" is a memoir. A deeply personal glimpse into the story behind this legend. The story of a little girl who grew up dirt poor on a farm in tennessee. So poor, the story go, her daddy had to sell a mule to get the money to marry her mama. And you slept in the same crib until you were 6 years old. That was poor. And I was still. I was pretty long. Reporter: Long, as in tall. With three older brothers, she learned to play basketball. Got tough, and good. She played in college and went to the olympics. You saw the world. I did. Reporter: And the book explores the complicated relationship with her father. Man who loved her dearly but had trouble expressing the affection he had for his children. He couldn't say the words, i love you. A remarkable record. Reporter: You were 43 years old, won another national champ cropship. And what you remember most is, climbing into the stands, and what did your daddy do? He gave me a big old hug. Said he loved me. And he also said, I don't want to hear anything else about this anymore. Reporter: Pat says that was the first time her daddy hugged her. Ask pat what she's most proud of, no hesitation. Her son tyler. A lot of women are going relate to the number of times you tried to have a child. Seven miscarriages. But I got tyler. That was the most important thing. Reporter: Divorced from her husband since 2008, tyler has been her staunchest ally. He speaks to pat every day. The time is worry about her, all I have to do is call. When you talk to her, you don't worry anymore. Report Reporter: Alzheimer's is now the heart of her legacy. How she's chose on the deal with another example of what makes her not only different, but special. Have you had the me moment? I have had a few. Reporter: What do you want people to understand about you that can help them? It may not be the best thing, but, you justta make it what it is. And just keep living the life. Reporter: Pat loves to say it is what it is. She has a sign over her fireplace that says just that. To spend time with her is always just such a -- you can feel her strength over here. I know. She really -- a teacher, aeal teacher shows you, doesn't tell you, shows you. That's what she's doing. Did I mention, 100% graduation rate. If you played for her for four year, you walked away with a degree. That was tough. That's as tough a person, a coach, as I have ever seen, watching sports my entire life. Rare to see that. That's part of a 9 for 9 series on espn. Going to the game, being there in knoxville at a game, sitting in the stands, watching her, watching her watch her beloved lady vols. And holly warrilick is doing great job. Stop making me cry. Wait a minute, the balloon in

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