Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Parker Practices

Candace Parker returned to practice today.

Friday, June 26, 2009

10 Questions for Candace Parker

1. Do you think women's basketball is catching on with the masses? James Fields SAN BERNARDINO, CALIF.

I think it is catching on. It's the fastest-growing sport in America. I think a lot of guys are learning to respect our game as well. Our women's Olympic team is going for its fifth gold medal in 2012.

2. When do you think the salaries of female basketball players will begin to approach the salaries of male players? Anne Kenefic JAMESTOWN, N.Y.

I look at it this way: the WNBA is 13 years young. I think eventually women will get to that point, maybe in my daughter's generation, where their salaries will be similar to men's. But we're still starting off, like, where the NBA was back in the 1950s. (See pictures of Parker's career.)

3. Do you think they should create coed-league sports on a professional level? Luke Denker, BELTON, MO.

I don't think it's necessary. I think it's neat that women play our game. Obviously, the strength of men--I really don't feel like we could play in a professional league with them. I think it's great that young girls have the WNBA to look up to now.

4. How are you doing with your new daughter? Has your coach at Tennessee, Pat Summitt, started recruiting her yet? Brenda Goodman JOHNSON CITY, TENN.

When I first told Coach Summitt that I was pregnant, she was like, Where can we send the papers? I had to remind her that my husband [Minnesota Timberwolves forward Shelden Williams] went to Duke, so he's pushing for her to go there. But I'm doing great. My baby is the joy in my life. Obviously, I'm suffering from lack of sleep, but it truly is a blessing to be a mother.

5. How hard is it coming back to the WNBA after a pregnancy? Emily Johnston MARYVILLE, TENN.

My teammates have done it. Tina Thompson came back the same season she delivered her son. Lisa Leslie waited a year. They're still at the top of their game. I don't think it's going to be easy, by any means, but I think it's possible to come back better than I was. I understand my body a lot more. I focus a lot more on stretching and taking care of myself.

6. How do you feel you have impacted women's sports, and what do you believe is your responsibility to young women coming up in sports? Hernan Gonzalez ORLANDO, FLA.

I don't know if I've necessarily done it, but my goal is to allow girls the same opportunities that I had. I was literally in the first generation that could look up to female athletes as role models. I was a humongous Mia Hamm fan. I wanted to be a soccer player until I was in the eighth grade. She was my role model. That's what I hope to be.

7. My 10-year-old daughter Hannah has aspirations of playing college ball. What is your advice for her? Rob Swiger, GALAX, VA.

Go out there and play against guys. That's what I did growing up. I have two older brothers who beat me up and made me tough, and I love them for it. I would always play against them because they were bigger and faster and stronger, and it makes you tougher.

8. Would you ever sign to play in the NBA? Warren Spencer MANTECA, CALIF.


9. Growing up playing basketball, did you ever have to deal with negative or sexist comments? Minnesa Khan, JAMAICA, N.Y.

I never really had to. When I would go to the park, maybe initially they would be like, She's a girl, she can't play. But then the next time, they were picking me first for their team. Let your actions speak for themselves. Don't worry about what everybody else is saying. Just concentrate on playing basketball and embrace being a woman and being in sports.

10. Do you ever play your husband one on one? Dan Sutin, TORONTO

Shelden and I don't play because we are so competitive, we would probably hurt each other.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summitt will be featured Fever guest

University of Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt will be the featured guest for the Indiana Fever's Inspiring Women Night on July 30 when they play Connecticut.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Things you may not know about Pat Summitt

The YWCA has chosen the eight women who will be named Lifetime Achievement honorees at its 25th annual Tribute to Women event on Aug. 20. They are all women who've led the way on their individual career paths:

Donna Cobble, the first woman on a number of local community boards and the first female chair of both the Greater Knoxville Chamber of Commerce and the United Way campaign;

Pam Fansler, the first female East Market President of First Tennessee Bank;

Sarah Moore Greene, longtime educator and first black member of the Knoxville City Board of Education;

Debra London, first female president of a major East Tennessee medical center, now Mercy Health Partners;

Barbara Reid, first black associate dean of the University of Tennessee's College of Nursing;

Mintha Roach, first female CEO of the Knoxville Utilities Board;

Liane Russell, a retired ORNL scientist and a leading researcher; and

Pat Summitt, the most winning coach in NCAA basketball history.

Things you may not know about Pat Summitt, head coach of the Lady Vols basketball team

Education? BS in physical education, University of Tennessee Martin, 1974; MS in physical education, UT Knoxville, 1975

First job? Head women's basketball coach, UT Knoxville

Mentor? Billie Moore, my Olympics coach in 1976

When I was a kid I wanted to be? A basketball player

Book I learned a lot from? The Bible

Philosophy of life? Treat others the way you want to be treated

If I didn't have my current position I'd be? A teacher

Someone I admire I've not met? Celine Dion

My greatest strength? Teaching skills

My greatest weakness? Over-scheduling

Introvert/extrovert? Extrovert

A good day is? A day at the beach

A bad day is? A rainy day at the beach

One habit I'd recommend to others? Exercise

Is caffeine a must? Not necessarily … but have at least one cup a day

Favorite time of day? Sunset

I eat at my desk? Rarely

Favorite work clothes? Sweats

Last vacation? Kona, Hawaii, August 2008

What makes a good boss? Someone who allows you to manage your own program

What makes a good employee? Loyalty and someone who possesses an excellent work ethic

Hardest part of my job? Losing a game

Favorite part of my job? Teaching on the court

A goal I've yet to accomplish? Nine national championships

Most important skill one needs to be successful? Great communication skills

Thursday, June 04, 2009

US Congress honors Pat Summitt

There are very few honors Coach Pat Summitt hasn't already won, but when you win more than 1000 games, the accolades keep pouring in.

Today, the U. S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution sponsored by Tennessee Congressman John Duncan to recognize Summitt's accomplishments.

The release from Congressman Duncan's office reads:

The House of Representatives today unanimously passed a resolution introduced by Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.) congratulating Pat Summitt for achieving her 1000th victory as the University of Tennessee's Lady Vols Head Basketball Coach.

The remarkable accomplishment of 1000th wins appropriately occurred when the Lady Vols beat Southeastern Conference rival the University of Georgia Lady Bulldogs on February 5, 2009.
Coach Summitt is the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, men's or women's, in any division. Her teams have brought eight national titles to the university and hold the best NCAA tournament record, men's or women's, at 104-20. The Lady Vols have not had a losing season since Coach Summitt took the reigns in 1974.

Aside from winning on the basketball court, Coach Pat Summitt has the rare distinction of an exceptional 100 percent graduation rate for her players. Every athlete who has completed her eligibility at UT has graduated or is working toward the requirements for graduation.

"I have known Coach Summitt for many years and could not be prouder of her and what she has done for the University of Tennessee," said Duncan. "While she has produced exceptional athletes, many of whom have gone on to coach or play in the WNBA, she prides herself on the academic and personal achievements of her players. The dedication and hard work of Coach Summitt, her assistants, support staff, and, of course, players have made the Lady Vols an extraordinary organization."

Coach Summitt's career record stands at an impressive 1005-193 (.840).

Congressman John Duncan