Ninety-one-year-old Mary Ellen Allen was only 5-foot-2 but she played basketball in elementary school, high school and two years of college. Wednesday, the Jacksboro woman fulfilled one of her dreams when she got to meet Lady Vols Head Coach Pat Summitt.
Summitt was the keynote speaker at the American Heart Association‘s “Go Red for Women” lunch at the Knoxville Convention Center. For a Mothers’ Day present, Mrs. Allen’s two daughters, Peggy Allen and Debbie Chambers, had purchased tickets to the lunch and Peggy Allen accompanied her mother, who is in a wheelchair, to the event.
After Coach Summitt finished her remarks encouraging the audience to eat healthy and exercise (Summitt works out six days a week), Peggy Allen stood up from a table near the back of the room. “My mother is 91 years old and it would mean so much to her to meet Coach Summitt,” she said, as the room fell into a hush.
Coach Summitt didn’t hesitate. She literally ran through the audience to Mrs. Allen’s wheelchair and began asking the senior citizen questions about her basketball days.
The meeting ended with many wiping away tears.
Now that’s a champion.