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Publisher's Summary

Pat Summitt, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history and best-selling author of Reach for the Summitt and Raise the Roof, tells for the first time her remarkable story of victory and resilience as well as facing down her greatest challenge: early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

Pat Summitt was only 21 when she became head coach of the Tennessee Vols women's basketball team. For 38 years, she has broken records, winning more games than any NCAA team in basketball history. She has coached an undefeated season, co-captained the first women's Olympic team, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and has been named Sports Illustrated "Sportswoman of the Year".

She owes her coaching success to her personal struggles and triumphs. She learned to be tough from her strict, demanding father. Motherhood taught her to balance that rigidity with communication and kindness. She is a role model for the many women she's coached; 74 of her players have become coaches.

Pat's life took a shocking turn in 2011, when she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, an irreversible brain condition that affects 5 million Americans. Despite her devastating diagnosis, she led the Vols to win their 16th SEC championship in March 2012. Pat continues to be a fighter, facing this new challenge the way she's faced every other - with hard work, perseverance, and a sense of humor.

©2013 Pat Head Summitt (P)2013 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Allen
  • Mount Juliet, TN, United States
  • 03-13-13

The Incredible Story of an Incredible Individual

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is an easy recommendation to anyone that wants to be inspired. Pat Head Summitt rose from essentially nothing to be one of, if not THE, best at her chosen profession. She has shaped thousands of people both directly and indirectly and this book offers a great level of insight into what made her who she is.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sum It Up?

There are too many to mention. The construction of the book, forgoing stats and records in favor of anecdotes and descriptions of the people that were behind the wins and losses, lends itself to the audiobook format. The interspersed recollections of the people around Summitt add perspective and help ground the stories and create a flowing narrative that leads you through an amazing life and career.

What does Sally Jenkins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

This book was constructed by Jenkins, based upon conversations and interviews with Summitt. Having Jenkins read to you is almost like sitting in on those conversations. Because of her closeness to Summitt she is able to add a level of empathy and compassion that might not come through in the straight written word.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Summitt's love for her players and her son, for her entire University of Tennessee family, flows through the narrative and is inescapable. Descriptions of motivational speeches to players and the passion with which she communicates her beliefs had me ready to run through a wall for her.

Any additional comments?

The story of Pat Summitt transcends basketball or the university to which she gave so much of her life. It is a story of conviction and dedication to excellence. This is an excellent look into the life and times of a complex, fallible, fascinating individual and those that she influenced. This memoir deserves a listen.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Suzanne
  • Hastings on Hudson, NY, United States
  • 03-21-13

5 Star Listen

Any additional comments?

Can't say enough good about this. I am listening to it over and over. Perfection on all levels. Very inspiring.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Great story from a great lady!

If you could sum up Sum It Up in three words, what would they be?

Inspiring, endearing, funny

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sum It Up?

When Pat told her team she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

If I give up and go to the rocking chair, I'll be rocking fast because I won't have a job.

Any additional comments?

I've always admired Coach Summitt and I have even more respect for her after listening to her memoir. I was disappointed when I found out she would not be reading it but after listening for just a little while realized that Sally Jenkins found Coach Pat's voice. Classy woman--great story! I love her attitude!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Loved it.

What did you love best about Sum It Up?

I liked the history of how her career came about and I liked the behind the scene stories of the players and coaches. And, of course how her disease is progressing and how she is handling it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sum It Up?

I really enjoy her discussions about the role her son plays in her life. I also like the Connecticut's Gino A. discussion.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The way she remembers her players.

Any additional comments?

Highly recommend it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great book for fans of Pat

Would you consider the audio edition of Sum It Up to be better than the print version?

Perhaps. I liked the narration, but I didn't read the book

What did you like best about this story?

Pat's personal history and how it impacted her coaching style

Which scene was your favorite?

Didn't have a favorite - so much information and history to absorb!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No.

Any additional comments?

Fans of Pat And women's college basketball will enjoy this book. Great personal history and history of the game.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Terie
  • Katy, TX, United States
  • 05-05-13

Winning with Pat

If you could sum up Sum It Up in three words, what would they be?

I enjoyed listening to Pat's life story. The only part I didn't like is how Alzheimer's is now part of Pat's life. To get it at early onset as well is just the pits. Kudos to Pat for the many lives she has impacted and helped shape.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sum It Up?

On a positive side, finally having a baby after so many miscarriages was terrific. Of course, all the wins and awards she and her teams achieved was wonderful.

What does Sally Jenkins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

There was a lot of emotion listening to the book instead of just reading it which really made the book come alive.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The making of a champion.

Any additional comments?

Highly recommend this book and not just to the sports enthusiast. It's a story of hard work and the rewards that follow or sometimes the rewards are not a trophy but instead growth and development that's takes you to the next level. Best wishes to Pat and her family.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Angie
  • Hollister, CA, United States
  • 04-06-13

Can't wait to listen again!

What made the experience of listening to Sum It Up the most enjoyable?

Sally Jenkins brings all of Pat's experiences, humor and heartache to life. I would find myself laughing in the grocery store or crying in the car on the way home.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sum It Up?

It is hard to pick just one, Pat Summitt is such an amazing woman on all fronts.

What does Sally Jenkins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The feel of Pat reading the book to you personally.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

All the above and I can't shut up about it.

Any additional comments?

I have taken away so many lessons from this amazing woman, as I continue to develop myself as a coach and a human being, her leadership inspires me everyday to be more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very good book!

What made the experience of listening to Sum It Up the most enjoyable?

This is a great listen.

What did you like best about this story?

Just about one of the most admired women in US.

What about Sally Jenkins’s performance did you like?

Good voice

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Admired Women

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Marilyn
  • Plainview, TX, United States
  • 02-01-17

A Personal Energy Booster

I picked this book due to its good reviews, and it turned out to be one of my FAVORITE audio books. The story is intriguing on many levels: the thrill of sports, lessons of great leadership and team building, and the touching side of family relationships and Alzheimer's. I truly recommend this book to anyone for the story alone, but I highly recommend it to athletes of ANY age, coaches, and leaders. If you need an inspirational book to recharge your get-up-and-go, listen to this book. Great story, excellent writing, and very well performed. You really feel like Pat Summit is talking to you. Amazing lady, great book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing Person!

I had no idea who Pat Summitt was before listening to this book. I came away with and immense respect for her as I was lead through her life by the narrator. The narrator is excellent and the author. She reads the story with just enough southern twang to transport you to Tennessee in an instant. One of the best narrated books I have listened to!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful