Tennessee: Rich tradition in 217 years

AP Photo/Wade Payne

Tamika Catchings and Pat Summitt are two basketball legends who have called Tennessee home.

On this date in 1796, Tennessee was admitted as the 16th state of the United States, and it has gone on to become home to one of the richest women’s basketball traditions in the nation. Pat Summitt, who was born in Clarksville, Tenn., coached the Tennessee women’s basketball team to eight national titles before becoming head coach emeritus in 2012. The school has sent a total of 35 players into the WNBA, including superstars Tamika Catchings and Candace Parker. In addition to all the basketball hardware, Wilma Rudolph, who was born in St. Bethlehem, became the first woman to win three gold medals in track and field at a single Olympics in 1960 in Rome.

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