Friday, July 04, 2014

Pat Summitt Still Head Coach Emeritus

Pat Summitt will remain the Tennessee women's basketball head coach emeritus next season and can continue holding the position as long as she wants it.

That's according to a new contract signed in May and obtained Thursday night through a public records request. It states that Summitt will have the title head coach emeritus "in perpetuity, or until she chooses to relinquish it."

Summitt will make $75,000 under terms of the contract, which runs through April 30. She had been paid $85,000 last year.

Summitt has served as head coach emeritus since ending her 38-season tenure as the Lady Vols' coach in April 2012. That came one year after announcing she had early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Lady Vols #Chillin4Charity

Holly Warlick and Pat Summitt are chillin' for charity in support of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bobby Maze to Host 2nd Annual Celebrity Basketball Game

Former University of Tennessee basketball player, Bobby Maze, will host the 2nd the Annual BMaze Celebrity Game on June 28, 2014 at the Knoxville Convention Center. Proceeds will benefit the Pat Summitt Foundation. The game will feature the Tennessee “All-Stars” vs. the “Pros.” Tennessee “All-Stars scheduled to attend include Chris Lofton, Tobias Harris, Eric Berry, Arian Foster, Albert Haynesworth and Meighan Simmons. Simmons will be the first female participant in the event. The “Pros” squad will feature Dez Bryant, Michael Beasley, Ty Lawson, Greg Oden, Ahmad Bradshaw and Rapper Wale. Other special guests will include Ice JJ Fish and Lil Terrio.

The Pat Summitt Foundation, a fund of East Tennessee Foundation, was established by Pat and Tyler Summitt in November 2011. Pat Summitt, her family and friends have chosen East Tennessee Foundation to receive and manage contributions to Pat’s fund, and to facilitate their grant-making in support of the mission. To learn more visit the website at www.patsummitt.org.

Doors will open at noon and the game will begin at 2:00 PM. A special area for fans will include interactive games such as bounce houses and basketball contests. Fans also will have special opportunities presented from various local and national vendors. Halftime of the game will feature a 3-point and slam dunk contest that will include 2007 NBA All-Star Dunk Contest winner Gerald Green.

Tickets can be purchased at bmazegame.eventbrite.com. There are general admission and VIP ticket options available for purchase. Tickets will also be available on the day of the event at the Knoxville Convention Center.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Diamond DeShields to join Lady Vols

Former North Carolina guard Diamond DeShields is transferring to Tennessee, joining the school where her mother starred in a different sport.

Tennessee announced Thursday that the 2013-14 Atlantic Coast Conference freshman of the year would be continuing her career with the Lady Vols. Under NCAA rules, DeShields must sit out a year before being eligible to play for the Lady Vols in the 2015-16 season, though she will begin attending classes at Tennessee next month. She will have three years of eligibility remaining.

"This is the place I've dreamt of since I was a little girl, just being here and playing here at Tennessee," DeShields said in a university release. "God sometimes has strange ways of working, and now I just feel like I am where I am supposed to be. I will give everything I have to make sure those dreams I had as a kid are fulfilled. This is not about me. It's about we. I'm here to help this program win games and win championships."

DeShields helped North Carolina go 27-10 and reach a regional final this past season. DeShields averaged 18 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game. She scored a total of 648 points, the most ever by an Atlantic Coast Conference freshman.

DeShields' mother, Tisha DeShields, was an All-America heptathlete for the Tennessee women's track team in 1991, when she was known as Tisha Milligan. DeShields' father is Delino DeShields, a former second baseman who played for five major league teams from 1990 to 2002.

The decision by DeShields comes as a late birthday present for Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick, who turned 56 years old on Wednesday.

"I didn't want to force my agenda on her (when she made her original college choice), and I knew that was her decision and one she would have to be happy with," Tisha DeShields said in a university release." As a parent, I needed to support her, even though I joked with her that I was going to buy her orange briefs to wear underneath her uniform. Now I just feel like she's in the right place."

Diamond DeShields tweeted out a link to an Instagram post late Thursday afternoon in which she thanked Tennessee fans "who have welcomed me into this family" and included a picture of herself in a Lady Vols uniform. DeShields said on her Instagram post that she knew her arrival at Tennessee had been a long time coming, but "I'm finally here."

"Soooo am I allowed to say, 'Grind for 9' now???'" DeShields asked on her Instagram post.

Tennessee used "Grind for 9" as its motto this past season in its unsuccessful bid for a ninth national championship. The Lady Vols went 29-6 and lost to Maryland in an NCAA regional semifinal.

North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell announced April 17 that the 6-foot-1 guard from Norcross, Georgia, planned to transfer after only one season with the Tar Heels. At the time, Hatchell said she did not know "or understand" why DeShields was leaving.

DeShields posted a statement on Twitter the following week addressing her decision to leave North Carolina. She didn't explain why she was leaving but said she had a "very detailed and emotional" conversation with Hatchell and that they were parting on good terms.

DeShields' choice of Tennessee comes one week after guard Te'a Cooper, a 2015 prospect from Powder Springs, Georgia, verbally committed to the LadY Vols. Cooper, who is friends with DeShields, had been committed to North Carolina before re-opening her recruitment last fall. Cooper is expected to sign with the Lady Vols in November.

DeShields adds star power to a storied Tennessee program that hasn't produced a first-team or second-team Associated Press All-American since Candace Parker led the Lady Vols to their eighth national title in 2008. That also marks the last time Tennessee reached the Final Four.

This won't be the first time a highly touted guard transferred to Tennessee after one season. Michelle Marciniak spent the 1991-92 season at Notre Dame before joining the Lady Vols. She capped her career by helping Tennessee win the 1996 national title as the Final Four most valuable player.

DeShields is leaving behind a North Carolina team that seemed on the verge of big things.

DeShields arrived at North Carolina as the biggest star in a highly touted recruiting class that also included Allisha Gray, Stephanie Mavunga and Jessica Washington. That freshman class helped the Tar Heels advance to a regional final with a roster that didn't have a single senior.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Te'a Cooper Gives Verbal to Tennessee

Te'a Cooper, a 5-foot-8 point guard at McEachern High (Powder Springs, Georgia) and the No. 12 prospect in the espnW HoopGurlz Super 60 for the 2015 class, gave a verbal commitment to the Tennessee Lady Volunteers on Thursday night.

"I loved my experience when I visited there," Cooper said in a phone interview. "I like the coaching staff and the traditions."

Cooper had previously committed to North Carolina when she was in eighth grade, but she reopened her recruitment in September. At that time, she named 10 finalists, including Tennessee, South Carolina, Louisville, Duke and Notre Dame.

Cooper, who averaged 19.6 points per game last season as a junior and led McEachern to a Georgia state title, is the second player from the 2015 class to commit to Tennessee. She joins MeMe Jackson, a 5-11 wing from Blackman High (Murfreesboro, Tennessee), which won the national title this past season. The Lady Vols' 2014 recruiting class was ranked sixth in the nation and features Jaime Nared, Alexa Middleton and Kortney Dunbar.

Cooper's longtime friend and AAU teammate, Diamond DeShields, attended Cooper's announcement ceremony. DeShields -- the espnW freshman of the year this past season who led North Carolina to the Elite Eight -- was granted an unconditional release by the Tar Heels in April. She has yet to announce where she will be transferring.

DeShields, who grew up in the Atlanta area with Cooper, has spoken publicly about her admiration for the latest Lady Vol.

"I've learned a lot about working hard from watching her -- and she's younger than I am," DeShields said last summer. "I've seen her work out four times a day. She's helped me develop mental strength and helped me push through things."

As for Cooper's immediate future, she was one of 12 players selected last month for the USA Basketball U17 world championship team that will compete in the FIBA U17 World Championship from June 28-July 6 in the Czech Republic. Training camp opens in Colorado Springs, Colorado, next Thursday. The team leaves for France on June 18 for exhibition play that starts June 20.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pat Summitt Having Knee Replacement Surgery

Please say a prayer for Pat Summitt. She's having knee replacement surgery today. I wish her the best of luck with the surgery and rehab. May she have an easy time and recover fully.

Fierce Courage.

Adam Waller of the Pat Summitt Foundation confirmed that Summitt would be undergoing replacement surgery on her right knee in Knoxville and would remain in a hospital through the weekend as a precautionary measure to make sure her rehabilitation starts correctly.