Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Remembering Presentation of USBWA Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award Nov. 2, 2014

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

On Wednesday two years ago on Nov. 2 in front of  a sellout crowd of 10,000 and a nationwide TV audience in Xavier's Cintas Arena in Cincinnati your Guru had the honor at halftime of Mount St. Joseph's season opener of presenting freshman Lauren Hill, battling pediatric brain cancer, with the Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award presented by the United States Basketball Writer's Association (USBWA).

The NCAA gave special permission for the school to move its game up two weeks so Hill, given a survival prospect of December at best, could realize her dream to play in a collegiate basketball game.

Presenting the award at the outset of the season instead of just during the Women's Final Four was also a special move made by the collegiate basketball writer's group.

Hill thrilled all onlookers and tugged their heartstrings when she quickly scored a layup soon after the game had begun following a standing ovation when her name was announced in the starting lineup. She also scored at the end and in a few more games and defied the medical odds surviving until a week after the 2015 season concluded.

Summitt, the Tennessee legendary who succumbed to her own battle against Alzheimer's disease this past June, made her own surprise trip to Cincinnati to help hand out the award, a move not known by even your Guru until arriving at the arena on the Sunday morning prior to tipoff.

Several hours earlier the Guru posted his presenting speech here for all to share. As the second anniversary of that day approaches here is the transciption of those remarks to the nation and #22 offered one more time.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 02, 2014

Transcript of Guru's USBWA Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award to Lauren Hill

By Mel Greenberg 

This is the transcript of the award being given to Lauren Hill and it appears in the original style done for the purpose of not losing place while making the presentation.

Since this was put in the silo holding queue in the middle of the night and being posted soon after the halftime ends, may have to update and will indicate if we have waggled a bit.

Tweaked it a little. 


THANK YOU, BRAD, FOR THOSE KIND WORDS.

TO BEGIN: BECAUSE OF THE MAGNIFICENT GESTURE BY THE NCAA AND ALSO WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FOLKS HERE AT XAVIER AND THE BIG EAST CONFERENCE, AND, ALSO TO FOX SPORTS

TODAY BEGINS THE 2014-15 WOMEN’S COLLEGIATE BASKETBALL SEASON AND THE CHASE FOR GLORY IN MARCH AND APRIL.

BUT UNLIKE PAST SEASONS, WE ARE GATHERED TO CELEBRATE A CHAMPION IN HER VERY 1ST GAME AS HER DREAM HAS COME TRUE.

IN OUR SPORT, RECENT EVENTS OF SERIOUSNESS AND FUN – IF YOU CALL HAVING A BUCKET OF ICE COLD WATER DUMPED ON YOUR HEAD, FUN – HAS CAUSED SOMETHING MAGICAL TO OCCUR.

IN THESE MOMENTS WE HAVE ALL BLENDED:

PLAYERS, COACHES, TEAMS, REFEREES, MEDIA AND, YOU THE FANS, HAVE TRANSFORMED INTO ONE UNIVERSAL BASKETBALL FAMILY.

AND THAT’S WHO WE ARE AND WHY WE ARE HERE TODAY -- FROM THE STARS OF THE WNBA TO EVERYONE ELSE – WE ARE YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY.

AND WE ARE GLAD TO JOIN YOUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY STANDING HERE ON THE COURT OF THE CINTAS CENTER TO APPLAUD YOU.

YOU KNOW I HAVE A FRIEND FROM PHILADELPHIA THAT SOME OF YOU HAVE HEARD ABOUT:

HER NAME IS DAWN STALEY AND SHE ALWAYS SPEAKS OF HER DESIRE TO GIVE BACK TO THE GAME BECAUSE OF WHAT IT HAS GIVEN TO HER.

BUT TODAY, HOWEVER, THAT NOBLE CONCEPT IS REVERSED.

WE ARE HERE IN CINCINNATI TO GIVE BACK TO YOU BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN GIVING US SO MUCH.

ON PLANET EARTH: THOUSANDS HAVE NEVER MET YOU, BUT THEY HAVE COME TO KNOW YOU AS YOU HAVE INSPIRED ALL OF THEM.

XXXXXX

NOW ABOUT WHAT BRINGS US TO THIS HALFTIME MOMENT:

WHEN WE ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE OF THE UNITED STATES BASKETBALL WRITERS ASSOCIATION

RECENTLY BEGAN APPLYING NAMES OF STANDOUT NOTABLES TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH OUR AWARDS, 

WE CHOSE TENNESSEE GREAT PAT SUMMITT FOR THIS HONOR BECAUSE WE CONSIDER IT THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS TRIBUTE WE CAN BESTOW IN A GIVEN SEASON.

THROUGHOUT TIME IN VARIOUS WALKS OF LIFE, WE HAVE SEEN INDIVIDUALS WRITE GREAT CHAPTERS IN COURAGE.

BUT, LAUREN, YOU HAVE CREATED A NOVEL THAT WILL BE READ BY GENERATIONS TO COME AND IT WILL ENDURE FOR THE AGES.

THEREFORE, ON BEHALF OF USBWA I AM PLEASED TO PRESENT YOU WITH OUR PAT SUMMITT MOST COURAGEOUS AWARD.

LAUREN THE ARENA IS YOURS.




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