UT professors to debut Pat Summitt film

UT professors will roll out the orange carpet tonight before debuting their film, “Pat: A Legacy of Love” to a sold-out crowd.

On Thursday at 6 p.m., the Bijou Theatre in downtown Knoxville will roll out the orange carpet as fans and supporters of the Lady Vols pour in to see “Pat: A Legacy of Love” publicly for the first time.

This documentary, created by University of Tennessee professors Sarah Hillyer and Ashleigh Huffman, tells the compelling story of Pat Summitt’s role in providing basketballs and other sporting equipment to girls in Iraq. Summit’s generosity and compassion has allowed young Iraqi women to play sports, something that many girls in the Middle East do not have the opportunity to do.

The greatest gift we have received from Pat is her kindness – this night gives us a chance to return the gift and say ‘thank you’ for changing the lives of girls in Iraq through the gift of sending basketballs and messages of love and hope,” Hillyer said.

A portion of the profits from this event will go to the Pat Summitt Foundation as well as the effort to bring sports to girls worldwide. There will be various ways to give to these causes throughout the night, among them being sponsoring basketballs to be donated both locally and internationally and purchasing “I am her Legacy” t-shirts.

You may see quite a few familiar faces at this event, such as Lady Vols head coach Holly Warlick.

Warlick said the project has changed her, and she believes the sport is a way to empower women and promote peace. 

Also in attendance will be Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame president Dana Hart, former athletic director Joan Cronan and co-hosts of the event: Robin Wilhoit from WBIR and Michelle Marciniak, former Lady Vol and Sheex co-founder.

This night also boasts a performance from the Seymour AAU Lady Ballerz and will be filled with surprises.

For more information, visit the film’s website.

Featured Image by: Phil Ellsworth / ESPN

Edited by: Kaitlin Flippo