Los Angeles Sparks star Candace Parker dedicated her first WNBA Championship victory to her late head coach at Tennessee, Pat Summitt
As the head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team for decades, the late Pat Summitt coached many greats in the history of women’s basketball. She built a dynasty matched only by the UConn women’s basketball team. And not many would correct you for saying that Candace Parker may have been the best player that Summitt ever coached.
On Thursday night after a grueling WNBA Finals series and Game 5, Parker won the first WNBA Championship of her career, leading the Los Angeles Sparks to victory. The star for the Sparks posted a double-double and simply put the the team on her back down the stretch to help pick up the win.
Naturally, Parker was overcome with emotion after the big win for the Sparks. However, she brought the same feeling onto everyone watching when she was asked what the win meant to her. All the former Tennessee star could say while holding back tears was simply, “This is for Pat,” before repeating herself and having to walk away, unable to handle the emotion of the moment:
If that doesn’t give you chills, you might need to check your pulse.
After a long battle with Alzheimers, Pat Summitt tragically passed away at the age of 64 in June 2016. So for arguably the biggest start that Summitt ever coached to win a title in that same year and then say it was a tribute to her coach is an unforgettable moment.
Parker has long stayed true to her roots with the Lady Vols, voicing her support during her time as analyst and WNBA player. However, this moment shows just how much her time with Summitt meant to her and how deep those bonds run.