Nancy Lieberman on playing for Pat Summitt: “I was going to show Pat that I could do what she said I wasn’t doing”

U.S. women's basketball coach Pat Summitt is carried off by members of the team following their 85-55 Olympic gold medal win over Koran in Los Angeles, Aug. 8, 1984. (AP Photo/Pete Leabo)

Back in November 2014, we interviewed Sacramento Kings (NBA) Assistant Coach Nancy Lieberman about her own career and asked her what it was like to play under the legendary Pat Summitt.


“I had some great coaches.  I played for Pat Summitt who was my team mate in ’75 and ’76.  We actually were team mates together, a lot of people don’t realise this.  Pat was an extraordinary player, she was Captain of the ’76 Olympic team.  She was the oldest player on the team and I was the youngest player on the team at 17, so to have that wisdom from her was amazing!  I learned so much from her about dedication, about being mentally tough and then a few years later she was coaching me internationally and coaching against me when she was at Tennessee and I was at Old Dominion.  And I was playing for her in International teams.  She was tough on me, there were many days she was in my face and I had to realise that some people crater and some people get empowered, I was going to show Pat that I could do what she said I wasn’t doing.  You didn’t want to be on the wrong side of the stare!  There’s no doubt about it!”


nancy 1970

Nancy Lieberman