Past few days ‘difficult’ for former Tennessee coach Summitt

FILE - In this April 25, 2012 file photo, former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt speaks in Atlanta. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will honor a diverse cross-section of political and cultural icons — including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, astronaut John Glenn, basketball coach Pat Summitt and rock legend Bob Dylan — with the Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony Tuesday. The Medal of Freedom is the nation's highest civilian honor. It's presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the national interests of the United States, to world peace or to other significant endeavors. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The family of Pat Summitt says the last few days have been difficult for the former Tennessee women’s basketball coach as her Alzheimer’s disease progresses.

Amid reports of Summitt’s failing health, her family issued a statement Sunday asking for prayers and saying that the 64-year-old Summitt is surrounded by the people who mean the most to her. They also asked for privacy.

Former Tennessee player Tamika Catchings was flying to Knoxville instead of returning to Indiana with the WNBA’s Fever to visit the coach.

Summitt stepped down as Tennessee’s coach in 2012, one year after announcing her diagnosis of early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. Summitt went 1,098-208 with eight national titles. She has the most career wins of any Division I men’s or women’s basketball coach.

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