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How Tennessee Will Honor the Legacy of Pat Summitt Against UConn

Pat Summitt
Tennessee legend Pat Summitt. Photo via Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball (@LadyVol_Hoops) on Twitter.

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

Pat Summitt, an iconic coach at the University of Tennessee and in the sport of basketball, passed away in 2016 after a five-year battle with Alzheimer’s.

It’s fitting that Tennessee will host UConn, a legendary rival of Pat Summitt’s basketball teams, this Saturday in Neyland Stadium during the first game of November, isn’t it?

Tennessee will be honoring the life, legacy, and impact of Pat Summitt this weekend with an eye on Alzheimer’s awareness.

“November is also Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and we have a unique opportunity to honor the legacy of Pat Summitt,” head coach Josh Heupel said on Monday. “We’ll be doing that at the game with our uniform, but we’ll also be doing that with a commemorative cup that everyone can purchase. All of that will go to UT Medical’s research on Alzheimer’s.”

Tennessee revealed their uniforms for the weekend on Thursday, highlighted by Summitt Blue accessories to go along with the Vols’ traditional orange and white home game look. The Vols post a close-up of their uniform after each announcement to show the details. This time, though, Tennessee put the uniform on the hardwood.

A nice little touch that shows how much thought is going into the event.

“Obviously the success that her program had underneath her watch, it’s something that’s recognized nationally,” Heupel said of Summitt on Thursday. “I think one of the most pointed things that I could remember in my short time here about Coach Summitt is the stories of the people that she impacted not associated with Tennessee women’s basketball. Everybody that has come into contact with her has a great story about how she impacted the people around her and enriched the lives of the people around her. She had a great impact on the court, but she had more impact off the court. It’s a really powerful legacy.” 

Although it was orange pants that were worn instead of the white pants that are set for this weekend, Tennessee did debut the Summitt Blue accessories during the Vols’ Homecoming game last season.

Pat Summitt
KNOXVILLE, TN – October 22, 2022 – Defensive lineman Joshua Josephs #19 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the UT-Martin Skyhawks and the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Emma Corona/Tennessee Athletics.
More from RTI: Tennessee Football Preview: Vols Return Home for UConn Game on Homecoming

It’s not just about honoring the iconic basketball coach, though. It’s also about building a better future.

As Heupel mentioned, Tennessee will be selling commemorative cups at the game this weekend that are a must-buy for any collector, fan, or supporter who will be in attendance. Additionally, one dollar from each collector’s cup will directly benefit the University of Tennessee Medical Center’s research on Alzheimer’s.

“There are over 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s Disease with 3 million new cases diagnosed each year,” Tennessee published in a press release this week. “Fans are encouraged to share their Volunteer spirit in supporting Alzheimer’s research at The UT Medical Center via a donation at”

No. 17 Tennessee will host UConn this Saturday during Homecoming at 12:00 p.m. ET in the ninth game of the season. SEC Network will have the television broadcast.

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