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Lady Vols coaching legend Pat Summitt’s family ‘preparing for the worst’

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(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Pat Summitt’s family, friends and former players have convened in Knoxville over concerns about the former University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach’s health, The Tennessean reports.

A multitude of others have done the same across the country, rallying on social media around the hashtag #PrayforPat for the winningest coach in the history of men’s and women’s Division I basketball.

Summitt’s family released a statement late Sunday morning regarding her condition, acknowledging “the past few days have been difficult for Pat as her early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s Type progresses.”

The statement from Erin Freeman of Ackermann Public Relations also said, “She is surrounded by those who mean the most to her and during this time, we ask for prayers for Pat and her family and friends, as well as your utmost respect and privacy. Thank you.”

Five hours earlier, a source told the News Sentinel that Summitt was “struggling” and those close to her were “preparing for the worst.”

“I don’t think anybody knows whether she will last a day, a month, or a year,” the source said.

Summitt announced in August 2011 that she had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

As of late Saturday, Summitt, 64, had not been moved from the retirement center where she has been living since late January, the source said.

Around 20 former players have visited her, some spending the night.