Pat Summitt's right-hand Lady Vols coach, player and friend Holly Warlick called the legendary women's basketball coach her closest mentor and friend.
“You look at Pat’s life. Nothing was given," Warlick said. "She came here as a graduate assistant. It wasn’t about the money. It was about the love of the game.”
She said Summitt immediately instilled that work ethic in her, giving her a chance to even try out for the basketball team.
"I wasn't good enough to get a scholarship, so I came here on a track scholarship," Warlick said. "Pat let me try out, and I think that's what she's about. Opportunities... and I'd say I'm here today because she gave me that."
Warlick ended up playing four years for Summitt from 1976 until 1980. Then, she was an assistant on Summitt’s staff for 27 years before taking over the title as head coach after Summitt stepped down following the 2011-12 season.
Warlick said Summitt has taught her endless lessons on how to be a coach on and off the court.
“It’s not about you," she said. "It’s about what you’re doing for these young women that you promised their parents you would take care of. Yeah, you’re going to make them better basketball players, but how are they going to develop off the court? Are they going to get their degree?"
Although Warlick was very emotional about Summitt's death Tuesday, she said some good came from Pat's disease.
"She came to the majority of our games unless it was really late at night," she said. "I just think her getting out in the public is so brave of her, but I think she just thought it was a better cause. Again, it wasn’t about her.”
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