It is a pleasure to bring you a special Dishin & Swishin podcast this week. Instead of talking about the WNBA or the upcoming women’s college basketball season, today we talk with Sarah Hillyer and Ashleigh Huffman, co-founders and directors of the Center for Sport, Peace, and Society at the university.of Tennessee, and producers of a new short film called “Pat: A Legacy of Love.”
No one has had a bigger impact on women’s basketball than the late Pat Summitt, and to this day, throughout the world, that impact is still being felt. On September 7th, at the Bijou Theater in Knoxville, an “orange carpet” fund raising event will air the film Hillyer and Huffman created.
In 2007, Hillyer traveled to Sulaymaniyah in Iraq’s Kurdish region to host the country’s first women’s basketball camp. Hillyer realized the Iraqi women’s basketball players needed basketballs and other equipment. So she and Huffman asked Summitt for help. Summitt provided Tennessee orange and blue basketballs for the young women of Iraq. That would have been enough for most, but not Summitt.
In 2009 the coach invited girls from Iraq to attend one of her Knoxville basketball camps. In the podcast it is fascinating to hear how the name “Pat Summitt” was helpful in negotiating the difficulties with the state department in bringing these women into the United States.
Not to give away the entire story, but the love and respect the young women from Iraq had for coach Summitt, and how they showed it, after Summitt’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, is moving and betting a person like Summitt.
On September 7th, at the Bijou Theater in Knoxville, an “orange carpet” fund raising event will air the film Hillyer and Huffman created. Part of the proceeds from the event will go to the Pat Summitt Foundation.
Please enjoy one of the more interesting and enjoyable podcasts I’ve had the pleasure to record. Congratulations to the Center for Sport, Peace, and Society and Hillyer and Huffman on their work.