University of Tennessee Lady Vol basketball Hall of Famer Michelle Brooke-Marciniak announced last week that she is joining the Pedal for Pat fundraising initiative and plans to cycle in the 1,098-mile event, Oct. 17-28, to benefit The Pat Summitt Foundation.
“As players, Pat always challenged us to get out of our comfort zone to achieve even greater goals,” Brooke-Marciniak said. “When I first read about Pedal for Pat on Twitter, I thought to myself ‘I need to talk to Josh Crisp about participating in some way.’ Josh and I hopped on a call together the next day and after 20 minutes of hearing his passion for the cause and the incredibly challenging event, I said ‘I’m in for all of it, from Knoxville to Key West’.”
Crisp and a core group of riders announced Pedal for Pat (www.patsummit.org/pedal) in March 2017 and have been training ever since. Each team member is committed to raising $10,000 which will be donated to The Pat Summit Foundation, which designates 100 percent of its grant funding to The Pat Summitt Clinic.
“I am thrilled that Michelle has joined the Summitt Cyclists as we Pedal for Pat, 1,098 miles this October,” Crisp said.
“As a UT fan, I had the privilege of cheering for Michelle when she was leading the Lady Vols under Coach Summitt. Throughout Michelle’s life, she has been a leader both on and off the court. As I spent time getting to know her and discussing the event, Michelle’s passion and excitement to do something special to contribute to Pat’s legacy was evident.
“I felt an urgency to ask Michelle if she would co-chair the event with me and was honored that she would give of her time in such a generous fashion.
“I look forward to accomplishing things together that are much greater than we ever could apart,” Crisp said.
As a fiery leader on the basketball court, Brooke-Marciniak, nicknamed “Spinderella”, drove Tennessee to the 1995 and 1996 NCAA title games, as well as captained the national championship team in 1996, and was named the NCAA Tournament Most Valuable Player. In 2012, Tennessee honored her extraordinary basketball career and contributions to UT women’s athletics by inducting her into the Lady Vol Hall of Fame.
Post-collegiate career, the former unanimous National High School Player of the Year and 10-year veteran of USA Basketball, spent six years as a professional basketball player, completing her career with the WNBA’s Seattle Storm in 2002. She stepped into the coaching arena in 2003 as an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina, where she inked back-to-back top 10 nationally ranked recruiting classes.
The 43-year old Brooke-Marciniak is the Co-Founder of SHEEX®, Inc., the world’s first performance fabric bedding company with globally patented technology and also serves on The Pat Summitt Foundation Advisory Board.
“Michelle’s participation as a ‘Pedal for Pat’ cyclist and co-chair will make a huge impact on the event and raise significant support for The Pat Summitt Foundation,” said Patrick Wade, executive director of the Foundation. “It’s very fitting that Michelle would give back this way in that she thrives on incredible challenges, and she is also very passionate about helping patients and families who are coping with Alzheimer’s disease.”
The ride has special significance to Brooke-Marciniak since she helped to contribute to 91 wins of the 1,098 miles/victories they are undertaking on the ride.
“In that first mile, and every mile thereafter, I know I’ll be thinking about Pat, hearing her voice and seeing in my mind the faces of the 161 women who contributed to her amazing 1,098 victories as Lady Vol basketball players,” Brooke-Marciniak said. “I’ll also envision the measurable impact of the money we raise while Pedaling for Pat and how it will help the patients and improve the lives of families living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia who are being treated at Pat’s phenomenal clinic at the UT Medical Center.”
For those wishing to donate to the ride, Brooke-Marciniak has set up a Go Fund Me account at http://www.gofundme.com/MBMpedalforpat.