||Game by game, RAISE THE ROOF delivers the inspiring, insider account of the Lady Vols' unique, winning philosophy for success. Players coped with family break-ups, serious injuries, and even a stalker, but Summitt kept them calm and taught them how to stay focused--providing lessons in life as much as in basketball.
|Editors Note 2
||Going into the 1997-1998 season, the Lady Vols had a lot to lose. Pat Summitt had led them to NCAA Championships for the past two years. She had scouted around the country and brought in four of the most outstanding highschool players in America. She had in Junior Chamique Holdsclaw a #23 (that's Michael Jordan's number) of her own. The fans were shouting "threepeat." The pressure was on. In Pat Summitt's captivating account of the season, she makes us feel the pressure too. Based on journals she kept during the season, Pat recounts for us the psychological, emotional, and physical obstacles the team faced as they built up to their amazing 39-0 record. Early in the season returning Junior and star guard, Kyra Elzy tore her ACL and was out for the season. Meanwhile, a male stalker started lurking around after practices and games trying to forge a relationship with one of the freshmen. Another freshman was torn up over her parents' break-up which left her feeling responsible for seating her parents as far apart as possible at team functions. Through all of these traumas, the team relied on Pat to keep them calm and find the best solutions. In the regional championships, against North Carolina State, the Lady Vols fell behind by 12 points in the second half, and couldn't seem to bounce back. Pat called a time out and asked, "Am I coaching the wrong team? Should they be wearing your uniforms?" Needless to say they went back out on the floor and won. Deciding when to be tough and when to offer support is the hardest part about being a coach, and their third consecutive championship is a testament to the fact that Pat almost always gets it right. By reading her book, we learn to bettercoaches ourselves for life. At the end of the season, having just won the championship, Pat Summitt walked into the locker room to find her Lady Vols sitting around looking glum.. When she asked them if they realized they had just won a championship, freshman Semeka Randall said, "Yes but we're sad because it's all over." This is a team that loved their coach, that despite her demanding and tough style loved playing the game under her leadership. There is no better story in sports today than Pat Summitt's account of the Lady Vols 1997-1998 season.