Lady Vols honored in D.C.

Friday, June 27, 2008
Photo submitted Pat Summitt with Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker.

WASHINGTON -- Republican Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and other members of the Tennessee congressional delegation attended a luncheon in Washington, on June 24 in honor of the 2008 National Champion University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team, who will also be congratulated by President George W. Bush at the White House.

On April 8, 2008, the UT Lady Vols defeated the Stanford University Cardinals by a score of 64-48 at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Women's Basketball Championship game in Tampa, Fla. to win the team's second consecutive title. This year Pat Summitt earned her eighth national title as head coach for the Lady Vols, continuing her legendary record as college basketball's winningest coach, men's or women's, with 983 victories over 34 seasons.

Also in attendance at the luncheon were Congressmen Jimmy Duncan, Lincoln Davis, Marsha Blackburn, and John Tanner.

Candace Parker, who played for Coach Summitt for four years, was the Los Angeles Sparks' number one pick in the WNBA draft.

This week, just hours after becoming the second player to dunk in a WNBA game, Parker received the Honda-Broderick Cup as the nation's top female college athlete.

Monday morning's awards ceremony at Columbia University came on the 36th anniversary of the enactment of Title IX, which bans discrimination in education and sports.

"I still consider this generation to be pioneers of women's sports, because my mom didn't have the same opportunities I have, and my daughter sure will have way more opportunities than I had," Parker said. "That's what I'm playing for."

Already one of the country's most high-profile female athletes, Parker is realizing opportunities few women could in the past, such as signing endorsement deals with Adidas and Gatorade.

In her acceptance speech, Parker thanked her family and her fiancÚ, Shelden Williams of the Sacramento Kings.

Parker noted that Coach Summitt couldn't attend because she was running a basketball camp -- and maybe one of the girls there will some day win the Honda-Broderick Cup.