Thursday, February 07, 2013

Tyler Summitt talks about leaving home at a difficult time

On April 19, 2012, Pat Summitt announced she was stepping down as the head coach of the Lady Vols.

On that same day, her son Tyler announced he was leaving the only home he ever knew in Knoxville, to come to Marquette and be an assistant for the women's basketball team.

While he says the decision was hard, he knew he had to go.

"It was a crazy day for her to step down and for me to accept the job in the same day. But as far as the decision going for me to move 11 hours away, it wasn't as tough as you would think, because my mom has such a great support system around her. She's got my fiancee AnDe, she's got all her friends, she's got the Tennessee Lady Vols family. There's just so much loyalty that I felt comfortable leaving."

Tyler admits it's tough being away, but says he knew he'd get kicked out sooner or later.

"I think with my goals, and my aspirations to be at a major D-1 program, I'm kind of like my mom. I'm kind of a go-getter, so I just saw the opportunity, and I took it. She was going to kick me out eventually."

"I definitely miss my parents. I miss my fiancee. But that's just part of it. I know they're proud of me. And I'm happy to make them proud."

His mom has been to three of Tyler's games this season, including the "We Back Pat" game against Toledo. And like all moms, she still offers her words of wisdom.

"Absolutely. I'll talk to my mom. I'll talk to my dad, and also my mom's Olympics coach Billie Moore, because that was really my mom's main mentor and my mentor now. Billie and I watch every film together. So between my mom and Billie I get some great advice on basketball."

Pat Summitt's coaching advice could fill a library, but Tyler says the most important lesson, boils down to one word.

"Accountability. If you don't have accountability, you don't have anything. It's not what offense you run, what defense you run, what you system is. If you don't hold people accountable every single day, and you let them take short cuts. It doesn't matter what you do."

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