by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
LOS ANGELES — If you recall when WNBA superstar and F/C Candace Parker won her first championship, she emotionally said “this one is for Pat”. She referred to her former Tennessee Lady Vols head coach, the late great Pat Summitt.
Summitt won eight national titles, 1,098 games and made 31 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances during her 38-year coaching career, died in 2016 after a five-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Years in the making, Parker’s vision of honoring her late coach and raising awareness for Alzheimer’s came true on Thursday night.
Lead by Parker’s double-double the Los Angeles Sparks defeated the Phoenix Mercury 84-74 at Staples Center. More important than the game, Parker showed off her hand designed Adidas (co-created by her daughter Laila), and broke down what the shoes and the night meant for her.
Parker also said that she looked forward to having “Pat Summitt Night” every year. This event was joint effort in association with the Pat Summitt Foundation.
One principal of many that Parker shared from Summitt she’ll never forget, “Left foot, right foot, breathe, repeat. That’s something she lived by every day, whether she was winning championships, whether life hits, whatever.”