BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Southeastern Conference in cooperation with its 12-member institutions announces “We Back Pat Week", a week-long initiative focused on bringing awareness and recognition to the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and its fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

During the week of January 15-22, SEC member institutions will support the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund during their home basketball games. During the 17 women’s and 12 men’s games slated for the week, various efforts will be made to increase awareness of the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund. Twenty of these games will be televised.                

I have always told our players, our greatest opportunities are disguised as our greatest obstacles.
-- Pat Summitt

“Pat Summitt is a leader both on and off the court.  The establishment of the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund only reiterates this point.” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.  “We are pleased that the Southeastern Conference can play a small part in helping Pat reach her goals for The Foundation Fund today and in the future.”

The Pat Summitt Foundation Fund launched Nov. 27, 2011, by Pat Summitt after her diagnosis of early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type at the age of 59. In a videotaped statement shown during the announcement of the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund, Pat Summitt said, "Tyler and I have decided to join this battle, not just for us, but also for the millions of families affected by this disease. I have always told our players, our greatest opportunities are disguised as our greatest obstacles. It is time to treat this obstacle as an opportunity and a stepping stone to a cure."

The Pat Summitt Foundation Fund will make grants to nonprofits which provide:

• Education and awareness of Alzheimer's, its onset and treatment
• Support services to patients, their families and caregivers
• Research to treat, prevent, cure, and ultimately eradicate this disease