Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt to receive Medal of Freedom from President Obama at ceremony Tuesday


Almost two months after announcing her retirement from the game of basketball, legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt will be honored by President Barack Obama and presented with the Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony Tuesday.

Among those also receiving the award are astronaut John Glenn, author Toni Morrison, musician Bob Dylan, and Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a civilian, made in recognition of an “especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, or world peace, or cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Summitt retired in mid-April, months after revealing that she had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia.

Over her 38 seasons with Tennessee, Summitt compiled a record of 1098-208, winning 16 SEC tournament championships and eight national titles.

She was named NCAA Coach of the Year eight times and the Naismith Coach of the Century in 2000.

In 2008, Summitt pledged $600,000 to the University of Tennessee, with her donation going to fund the women’s basketball program.

Summitt has been a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame since 1999.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Texas lands commitment from top 100 center

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James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.

Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.

“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”

He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.

Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.

Memphis guard could miss season with shoulder injury

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Memphis just cannot catch a break.


It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.

Today, reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.

Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.

This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.

That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.