Remembering basketball legend Pat Summitt with her wisest quotes

Jun 28, 2016 at 11:03 a.m. ET
Image: Stephen Lovekin/Staff/Getty Images

Pat Summitt, the all-time winningest coach in the history of major college basketball, died Tuesday. She was only 64 but had battled Alzheimer’s disease for five years.

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Arguably, nobody did more for women’s basketball than Summitt did. In her 38-year coaching stretch at the University of Tennessee, she won eight national titles and 1,098 games — a record no other Division 1 coach (male or female) has ever beaten. Her teams made 31 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament — another record.

As news of Summitt’s death spread, tributes poured in from across the world, but it’s in Tennessee that the loss will be felt the most. The university issued a statement calling Summitt "a global icon who transcended sports and spent her entire life making a difference in other people's lives."

"Pat was so much more than a Hall of Fame coach; she was a mother, mentor, leader, friend, humanitarian and inspiration to so many," it said. "Her legacy will live on through the countless people she touched throughout her career."

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It’s not only for her ability as a coach and pioneer of women’s athletics that Summitt will be remembered. She also gave great quote — here are 13 of her best:

1. "In the absence of feedback, people will fill in the blanks with a negative. They will assume you don’t care about them or don’t like them."

2. "Someday, I suppose I’ll give up and sit in the rocking chair. But I’ll probably be rocking fast, because I don’t know what I’ll do without a job."

3. "Life. It gives you vision. But you can’t acquire it if you’re afraid of keeping score."

4. "There is an old saying: A champion is someone who is willing to be uncomfortable."

5. "God doesn’t take things away to be cruel. He takes things away to make room for other things. He takes things away to lighten us. He takes things away so we can fly."

6. "About one’s life; memories are unreliable — they smudge and fade, like disappearing footprints in the sand. We’re too busy standing in the middle of it all to remember everything perfectly."

7. "Discipline helps you finish a job, and finishing is what separates excellent work from average work."

8. "It’s harder to stay on top than it is to make the climb. Continue to seek new goals."

9. "You can’t always be the most talented person in the room. But you can be the most competitive."

10. "Teamwork is what makes common people capable of uncommon results."

11. "Attitude is a choice. What you think you can do, whether positive or negative, confident or scared, will most likely happen."

12. "Success is a project that’s always under construction."

13. "No one feels strong when she examines her own weakness. But in facing weakness, you learn how much there is in you, and you find real strength."

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R.I.P. Pat Summitt, 1952 – 2016.

Before you go, check out our slideshow

Powerful quotes from women
Image: Jeremy Woodhouse/Holly Wilmeth/Getty Images