1.13.19 LSU vs South Carolina

LSU coach Nikki Fargas watches the game during the lady Tigers' 76-52 loss to South Carolina, on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019 in the PMAC.

From 1994 to 2012, when you thought of women's basketball, you thought of Pat Summitt and the Tennessee Volunteers. Summitt's presence was felt when Kentucky faced LSU in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center Thursday night. 

Two LSU coaches, Nikki Fargas and Tasha Butts both played at Tennessee during Summitt's coaching tenure, while Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell was a graduate assistant there from 1999-00. 

"It's very special for us to be here in Baton Rouge, to be here with Nikki and Tasha," Mitchell said. "It's not your normal game, from that standpoint and the relationships that we share.

"The two coaching staffs here in this game have a tremendous bond. Our love for each other and connection is all rooted in Pat Summitt and what she's done for all of us."

Every year, the Southeastern Conference puts on the "We Back Pat" Week in honor of the legendary coach who lost her battle to Alzheimer's on June 28, 2016. 

The Pat Summitt Foundation is dedication to funding Alzheimer's research and and finding new methods of care for people who suffer, in hopes that they can find a cure to the disease. 

"The awareness that she's brought to Alzheimer's and dementia has been unbelievable," Fargas said. "The support of the athletic world behind her has been huge. It's a disease that affects over five million people. Her legacy — over 1,000 wins, the All-Americans, the championships — if we could find a cure, I know she would be the first one to trade all that in."

Summitt's legacy doesn't only affect people who knew her personally, but a multitude of people across the world of women's basketball.  

LSU guard Jaelyn Richard-Harris say her legacy is "elevated." The respect her own coaches have for Summitt shows how important she was to them, both as a coach and as a person. 

Summitt had a 1098–208 (135-23 NCAA Tourmament) record with 31 tournament appearances. She coached 20 All-Americans and 12 Olympians.

But Fargas said that she remembers the memories that may not be around basketball. Whether it was a team dinner at her house or a trip on the lake or even the basketball things like practice or national championship, Fargas said she misses alll those things about her. 

"To play with Pat's name on our shirts means the world," Richard-Harris said.

Fargas said its called "We Back Pat" because of the support Summitt has all over the the sports world and beyond. 

Summitt's legacy brought people together. 

"We are so enthusiastic because it's the absolute least that we can do," Mitchell said. "I think we speak for all of us when I say we have a dept that we can never repay to coach. That's why we're so excited through our sadness to try to bring something good. She was gone way too soon."

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