After a couple hours o...more
To Pat From Iraq
Iraq. Known by so many Americans for its bombings, terrorism and women with covered heads, Coach Pat Summitt dared to see more. She saw girls who loved basketball but lacked opportunity.
What may have seemed like a simple act of kindness - sending hundreds of basketball shoes, training videos and personal words of encouragement with our team to Iraq - empowered an entire community. Suddenly, hundreds of Iraqi girls knew "Coach Pat" and wanted to thank her, to send her kisses and to dedicate themselves to education and to participation in sport.
In 2009, their dreams came true. A small team came to visit the US to attend two sessions of Coach Summitt's summer basketball camp. They laughed with her, they learned from her, and they came home markedly different - confident, inspired.
Three years later, they received news about Coach Summitt’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and were devastated when she stepped down from her coaching position. They knew they had to do something to honor her as their hero and as their friend. So they did.