Pat Summitt honored with Billie Jean King Legacy Award

By: Tucker Harrington

Former University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt will be honored with an award from the US Tennis Association (USTA). NBC affiliate WBIR 10 reports Summitt was selected as this year’s recipient of the Billie Jean King Legacy Award that is given out to a “person whose courage and contributions helped change the cultural landscape.”

Summitt will be honored along with wheelchair tennis pioneer Randy Snow and former USTA CEO Lee Hamilton, The Associated Press reports. Summitt is the winningest coach in NCAA college basketball history and formally stepped down from coaching in April after revealing she had developed early-onset dementia.

“I am honored and humbled to be recognized by the USTA at this year’s ICON Awards,” Summitt said in a statement. “It’s a special honor to be acknowledged for my beliefs in diversity and equality and I am proud to be a part of the USTA’s commitment to the same. On the 40th anniversary of Title IX, I am especially honored to receive the Billie Jean King Legacy Award. Not only is Billie a respected friend and colleague, she’s also a true pioneer. Her efforts on behalf of equality for all have allowed me to coach and mentor some of the world’s greatest female athletes, and help numerous women attend college to become great leaders and citizens.” 

Summitt, along with Snow, will receive their recognition awards during the Awards reception on September 4. Hamilton is being honored posthumously, members of his family will be on hand to accept the honor on his behalf.