Pat Summitt's Moving Acceptance Speech at 2012 ESPYs: ‘It Is Time to Fight’

The 2012 speech came the same year she stepped down as Tennessee's coach.

June 28, 2016, 10:41 AM

— -- When Pat Summitt accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2012 ESPYs, she told the crowd in her inspiring speech, "It is time to fight."

The legendary University of Tennessee women's basketball coach, who died this morning, accepted the ESPY award the same year she stepped down as Tennessee's coach, which was one year after she announced her diagnosis of early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.

Summitt is remembered as the all-time winningest D-1 basketball coach in NCAA history.

"I've always said you win in life with people," Summitt said in the speech. "And I have been so blessed to have great people in my life. My son Tyler and I appreciate all of your support. And during this time, that's the next challenge for me and Tyler. And it is time to fight. As I ask all of you to join me together so we will win."

"And I can tell you, tonight I am deeply touched as all of you heard my story," she concluded. "I am gonna keep on keeping on, I promise you that. Thank you."

Summitt, 64, died this morning at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville, Tennessee, her son, Tyler Summitt, said in a statement.

"Since 2011, my mother has battled her toughest opponent, early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type,’ and she did so with bravely fierce determination just as she did with every opponent she ever faced," Tyler Summitt said. "Even though it’s incredibly difficult to come to terms that she is no longer with us, we can all find peace in knowing she no longer carries the heavy burden of this disease."

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events