Local athlete remembers playing against Pat Summitt at UT-Martin - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local athlete remembers playing against Pat Summitt at UT-Martin

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Anyone who ever met Pat Summitt has a story to tell and Teresa Brannon says she's a better person today because of it.

Brannon has spent the last 40 years looking up to the legendary coach.

"I am her age, so I feel like I've grown up with her," she said.

Brannon, who went to UTC, remembers playing against Summitt at UT-Martin.

"As she was as a coach, she was as a player. And I mean, we didn't beat them," she said. "(Summitt) was, you know... she was gonna win."

Summitt went on to coach the Lady Vols. Brannon followed her career closely, and watched her lead the U.S. Women's Basketball Team to an Olympic Gold Medal.

"I thought, man, you know, this lady is it," Brannon recalled. "She's the one that everybody wants to emulate."

For 25 years, Brannon coached several Hamilton County Schools' sports teams, including girl's basketball. She modeled her coaching style after the principles Summitt used to build her Lady Vol program.

"I'd like to think that watching her, and her intensity, her dedication, that hopefully I came across to my players," she said.

Each year, Brannon would take her team to a Lady Vols game; watching Summitt lead her team to championship after championship.

But her legacy is more than a winning record. Pat Summitt inspired people to be excellent in their every day life.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Pat Summitt, legendary Lady Vols coach, dies at 64

"She's done a lot more than she ever knew," said Brannon, "for women's sports, and for girls that just dreamed about being a Lady Vol someday."

A Celebration of Life service honoring the life of Pat Summitt will be held Thursday, July 14th at 7 p.m. The service at Thompson-Boling arena on the UT campus will be open to the public.

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