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You had a senior moment (with which I'm becoming familiar ) with Bernard King (Albert was a star for the Maryland Terrapins - he and Gene Banks (from Philadelphia - played college ball at Duke) were the best two high school players in the country his senior year - rated higher than even Magic Johnson (I was lucky enough to see all three play in the McDonald's Capital Classic (*))); Bernard (his big brother) was half of the "Bernie and Ernie Show" at University of Tennessee, along with Ernie Grunfeld. I thought sure Albert would be better than Bernard, but it didn't pan out that way - he was a star at Maryland, and, I believe, First Team All-ACC, but he just never hit that mega-stardom I was so sure he'd achieve. (*) I distinctly remember the Program from the Capital Classic that year (though I think my brother absconded with it!) - Earvin Johnson (a 6'9" center from Lansing, MI) had a bio-sketch that I remember the beginning of word-for-word: "Great enthusiasm - cheerleader type. Says he would love to play guard one day ...."
That final sentence is very tough. 2011 to spring 2012, Pat Summitt was all there, visible, courageous, and still coaching. Now the impact of Alzheimer's has set in. In any case that 31 year record of excellence is mostly attributable to one courageous person. A very moving story. This is a fantastic post, and Pat Summitt deserves her own thread (as does Title IX). Every time I question humanity, I'm reminded of people like Pat Summitt, who I suppose can be compared to John Wooden in pure basketball terms, but Summitt had other obstacles that Wooden never had. Thank you for posting this - it makes you wonder what the Lady Vols would have been like without Summitt. And it also makes Mickey Dearstone sound like one heck of a great person. It should also be noted that in addition to her coaching, Summitt was an All-American player for the University of Tennessee - Martin, and played in several *major* international competitions including co-captaining the first-ever U.S. Women's National Team at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, winning a silver medal As the "Summitt summit," she was a 2012 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award there is. Even more impressive: look at the company she keeps in winning this medal due to her achievement in sports - the *only* other female on the list is Billie Jean King. although since the award is generally given to people who transcend sports, the number of females on the list will surely grow going forward - before 2000, only 9 medals total were given out to athletes, so this is a relatively new trend. Still, Pat Summitt is only the *second* female athlete in history to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
And it isn't exactly like they're "bad" this year - their current record is 16-11 - but that streak of consecutive years being in the Top 25 is ridiculous. "Lady Vols Fall Out of AP Poll for First Time Since 1985" on espn.go.com