Pat Summitt documentary premieres in Knoxville

Pat Summitt documentary premieres in Knoxville

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The documentary called "Pat XO" follows female athletes and the landmark Title IX decision. The documentary called "Pat XO" follows female athletes and the landmark Title IX decision.
Lady Vols Head Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt walked the Orange Carpet at the premiere of the ESPN documentary "Pat XO" Wednesday. Lady Vols Head Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt walked the Orange Carpet at the premiere of the ESPN documentary "Pat XO" Wednesday.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A new documentary about the remarkable story of Pat Summitt premiered Wednesday in Knoxville.

The documentary called Pat XO is part of ESPN's new Nine for IX project, films by women about women athletes and inspired by the landmark Title IX decision.

The film brought tears and laughs to the packed theatre at Regal Cinema Downtown.

The directors began creating the one-hour documentary in 2011, and say they were intimidated because Summitt's story has been told so many times. So instead, they decided to tell it in a different way.

Directors Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern Winters, along with producer Robin Roberts set out to tell the story through the eyes of the people who know her best.

Her family, her friends, her players and the dozens that look up to her were given a camera and told to share their memories.

"We got these nuggets and these stories from people that I don't think anyone has ever heard before," said Lisa Lax, one of the directors of the film.

What they got was a raw and personal look at the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history.

"We're filmmakers and we want everything to look pretty and composed and it came back, Chamique [Holdsclaw] sent her camera back, she was upside down, the lighting was terrible, but what they said was so incredible," Lax said.

Pat Summitt was the guest of honor at the premiere of the film and was given a standing ovation at the conclusion of the documentary.

 "I thought it was marvelous and what a tribute to Pat who through the years has been an amazing example coach mother, outstanding," said Bay Stokes, a fan and one of the lucky ones to receive and invite to the premiere.

Even those who thought they knew Coach Summitt best said they walked away with tears in their eyes and a new appreciation in their hearts.

"It was very moving, and sentimental just to be part of that journey and to know that pat really touches every person," said Diane Brady Fetzer, one Summitt's very first players.

True to her nature, Pat Summitt watched much of the film with that famous stare, but the audience was all smiles as they were allowed a deeper look into her story.

"Do the right thing and you're going to be OK. And that's the biggest lesson you'll learn from Pat Summitt," said Lax about the message of the film. Her fellow director, Stern, added "There's a lot more to Pat Summit than her stare and that comes through in the film."

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