More

Looking back on Pat Summitt's legacy and what it means to be a winner.

The former Tennessee women's basketball coach passed away at the age of 64.

Looking back on Pat Summitt's legacy and what it means to be a winner.

For 38 years, Pat Summitt coached the University of Tennessee's women's basketball team, becoming a legend in the process.

She led the Lady Vols to eight NCAA titles and 1,098 wins during her tenure, taking home NCAA Coach of the Year honors seven times.

On the morning of June 28, 2016, she died of complications related to Alzheimer's disease.



Summitt celebrates after Tennessee's 59-46 win against Rutgers in the 2007 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship Game. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images.

Summitt's legacy isn't just that of a winning coach — she helped changed the game for collegiate women's basketball.

When Summitt took over as Tennessee's head coach ahead of the 1974-75 season, women's basketball wasn't yet recognized by the NCAA.

Until the 1981-82 season, women's basketball teams played in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW). That year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), college sports' governing body, integrated a number of women's sports into their roster of activities. This fact will forever link her name to college basketball because her footprints are all over its humble beginnings.

After years of success, Summitt was approached by school officials about the possibility of coaching the men's team.

"Why is that considered a step up?" she responded, pushing back on the idea that women's sports are somehow second-tier.

Summitt stands on the side of the court during a game in her last season as Tennessee's head coach. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

Summitt was more than just a coach. She was a mentor to her players, helping them become well-rounded adults primed for success after college.

Summitt's greatest legacy may very well be the fact that every single player she coached during her time at Tennessee graduated. With a career spanning nearly four decades and 161 players, that's especially impressive.

Summit hugs Candace Parker after Tennessee defeated Stanford during the National Championship Game of the 2008 NCAA Women's Final Four. Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images.

In August 2011, Summitt announced her retirement from coaching after being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

She finished the 2011-12 season in a reduced role, but she was there nonetheless. She was named Sports Illustrated's 2011 Sportswoman of the Year, a celebration of her lengthy career achievements. The following year, she was awarded both ESPN's Arthur Ashe Courage Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

Summitt is presented with a Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama on May 29, 2012, at the White House. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

"I've always said you win life with people and I have been so blessed to have great people in my life," Summitt said in 2012. The world is better for her having been in it.

We know that mammals feed their young with milk from their own bodies, and we know that whales are mammals. But the logistics of how some whales make breastfeeding happen has been a bit of a mystery for scientists. Such has been the case with sperm whales.

Sperm whales are uniquely shaped, with humongous, block-shaped heads that house the largest brains in the animal world. Like other cetaceans, sperm whale babies rely on their mother's milk for sustenance in their first year or two. And also like other cetaceans, a sperm whale mama's nipple is inverted—it doesn't stick out from her body like many mammals, but rather is hidden inside a mammary slit.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less