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Had Catchings not resumed speaking, they might still be cheering.It was Holly Warlick who brought down the house, however, when she concluded her anecdote-filled speech by holding a Lady Vol flag over her head and declaring: “Once a Lady Vol, always a Lady Vol.” Warlick then pointed to the ceiling to salute Summitt - her mentor and friend and the reason the Lady Vols logo resonates still.Three days of basketball action begins Thursday, April 24 with the start of the Legends of Basketball Fantasy Camp.From Friday through Sunday, fantasy campers have a chance to rub shoulders with the greatest players of all-time and compete on-the-court in an all-inclusive fantasy camp at Mohegan Sun Arena with basketball legends Barry, Cowens, English, Gervin, Dawkins, Birdsong and Richardson.Such was the hornet's nest of humanity into which Tyler Summitt — Weatherspoon's replacement — stepped two weeks later.He would either rouse the group or reassure it, and he needed this first impression to work. Ross Tyler Summitt, a newlywed with dimples carved into crimson cheeks, had been born for this moment.Laughter, tears, cheers and an a cappella rendition of “Rocky Top” filled Thompson-Boling Arena for a “Celebration of Life” for Pat Summitt – and the final farewell for the Lady Vols iconic basketball coach.When those players were asked to stand by former Lady Vol Tamika Catchings - nearly 100 were in the arena - the thousands of fans in attendance rose to their feet and applauded, the noise level building with each passing second.
The Legends of Basketball Fantasy Weekend is a charitable event to raise funds for the NBRPA’s Dave De Busschere Scholarship Fund and other charitable partners.
It was Peyton Manning who received the second-loudest applause from the approximately 7,000 people in attendance, as the former Vol and NFL quarterback took the stage.
Manning was a close friend of Summitt and mentioned how he and the coach would always get together for a steak and beer when he was in Knoxville or she was in Indianapolis.
The once-proud women's basketball program, the one seemingly running on fumes, suddenly was fuming.
Louisiana Tech coach Teresa Weatherspoon, who as a player led the school to a national title during the Reagan administration, had been fired in the wake of a 20-loss season. Athletic director Tommy Mc Clelland's meeting to inform the players had the soothing effect of peroxide.
Chances remain for the program's first winning season since 2011-12.