Skyhawk basketball teams to honor legacy of UT Martin alum Pat Summitt
UT Martin has announced the return of “We Back Pat” Night on Thursday, Feb. 23, when the Skyhawk men’s and women’s basketball teams host Tennessee State at the Elam Center.
The women’s game will air live at 5:00 on WCMT and ESPN+, with the Skyhawk men returning to national television for the first time in seven years with an 8:00 tip-off on WCMT and ESPNU.
While the SEC hosts its annual “We Back Pat” week in January of every year, UT Martin will honor Pat Head Summitt’s legacy as a stand-alone night at her alma mater on the court that bears her name. A 1974 UTM graduate and UT Martin Athletics Hall of Fame member, Summitt went on to become one of the greatest coaches in college basketball history, winning eight national titles at Tennessee over a 38-year career as leader of the Lady Vols.
As part of the “We Back Pat” initiative, the Skyhawk men’s and women’s teams will wear special purple shooting shirts to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s, the disease that took Summitt’s life in 2016. UT Martin will also hand out a limited number of orange “We Back Pat” shirts and bracelets to fans in exchange for a $5 donation, with all proceeds going to the Pat Summitt Foundation.
The organization was created in 2011 by Pat and her son, Tyler Summitt. Its mission is to award grants to nonprofit organizations that advance research for treatment and a cure, provide care and support for patients and caregivers, and educate the public about Alzheimer’s disease.
With the young Skyhawk women’s push to the OVC tournament and the Skyhawk men’s one-year turnaround (from 8-22 in 2021-22, to 18-11 and 14-1 home record in 2022-23), admission to “We Back Pat” night is free with the coupon found at utmsports.com.
For more information on the Pat Summitt Foundation and its mission, visit patsummitt.org, or follow on Twitter and Instagram @webackpat.