Family of former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt asking for prayers

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Knoxville, TN - January 28, 2013: Pat Summitt during her banner raising ceremony before the game between Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Tennessee Lady Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Wade Rackley/Tennessee Athletics (Photo by Wade Rackley/Tennessee Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.  — The family of Pat Summitt says the last few days have been difficult for the former Tennessee women’s basketball coach as her Alzheimer’s disease progresses.

Amid reports of Summitt’s failing health, her family issued a statement Sunday asking for prayers and saying that the 64-year-old Summitt is surrounded by the people who mean the most to her. They also asked for privacy.

Former Tennessee player Tamika Catchings was flying to Knoxville instead of returning to Indiana with the WNBA’s Fever to visit the coach.

Summitt stepped down as Tennessee’s coach in 2012, one year after announcing her diagnosis of early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. Summitt went 1,098-208 with eight national titles. She has the most career wins of any Division I men’s or women’s basketball coach.

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