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Raise the Roof: The Inspiring Inside Story of the Tennessee Lady Vols' Historic 1997-1998 Threepeat Season Paperback – October 5, 1999

4.9 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It seems fitting that the most successful college basketball coach since John Wooden is named Summit, because that's exactly where she's taken the women's program at the University of Tennessee. In Raise the Roof, she recounts the Lady Vols' astonishing 1997-98 campaign. The team went 39-0, won its third straight NCAA crown and sixth overall under her direction, and, most importantly to Summitt, "played as if they had no internal or physical boundaries." If the team's unprecedented success is the engine that runs Summitt's story, the fuel that powers it goes a good deal deeper than what happened on the court.

"With this team," she admits, "I was different." From two-time All-American forward Chamique Holdsclaw to the four freshmen from broken homes on whose talents the future rested, Summitt realized early that she had to approach them differently than she had any collection of Lady Vols before, and she did; she cared about them differently, yelled at them differently, and reveled with them differently, ultimately tapping into her own emotions in ways she never had before. She, and they, sought to set new standards for themselves, and for their sport. The record shows they did; Summitt details how and why. "Throughout the season," she writes, "I had the curious sensation of something rising." In the end, she rises to the occasion by identifying and preserving that "something." --Jeff Silverman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

"It wasn't a team. It was a tent revival."
So says Pat Summitt, the legendary coach whose Tennessee Lady Vols entered the 1997-98 season aiming for an almost unprecedented "three-peat" of NCAA championships. "Raise the Roof takes you right inside the locker room of her amazing team, whose inspired mixture of gifted freshmen and seasoned stars produced a standard of play that would change the game of women's basketball forever.
The 1997-98 season started innocently enough. One Saturday in August, four young freshmen--Semeka Randall, Tamika Catchings, Ace Clement and Teresa Geter--arrived on the Tennessee campus to begin their college careers. Welcoming them were a number of players from the previous year, including Chamique Holdsclaw and Kellie Jolly. But that night, in a sign of things to come, a simple pickup game turned into an amazing display of basketball brilliance--freshmen against established players, and with barely a shot missed by either side. Suddenly Pat Summitt glimpsed the future: fast, aggressive and hugely talented. This might be the team she'd worked her whole career to coach.
As the season got under way, other dramas unfolded. After one emotional team meeting, Summitt realized that many on the team were playing for something more than just the glory of the game: all four freshmen, for example, came from single-parent homes, and the tough circumstances of the majority of the other players seemed to add an extra edge to their desire to win it all. Further, Chamique Holdsclaw, widely regarded as the greatest female player ever, was being dogged by questions about turning pro--and she seemed reluctant to rule it out. Meanwhile, another member of the team beganto notice the unwelcome attentions of a fan, who soon turned out to be a full-fledged stalker.
All this was behind the scenes; out on the court, the win column was swelling with every game: 8-0, 15-0, 21-0. As 1997 turned into 1998, Pat Summitt began privately to admit that this team had changed her: these kids were so lovable, funny and eager to please that she simply had to let them into her heart. Along the way, the Lady Vols were redefining what women were capable of, trading in old definitions of femininity for new ones--in short, they were keeping score. And by the time they entered the NCAA Final Four tournament in Kansas City, Summitt found herself believing the impossible: despite all the distractions, the 1997-98 Lady Vols could go undefeated, and, in doing so, raise the roof off the sport of women's basketball.
Packed with the excitement of a season on the brink of perfection and filled with the comedy and tragedy of one year in the life of a basketball team, "Raise the Roof will have readers cheering from the bench for a team of all-conquering players and their astonishing coach.

"From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Reprint edition (October 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767903293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767903295
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
An undefeated season, a national championship, an astoundingly talented freshman class combined with the experience and ability of the veterans -- Tennessee's '98 season is one to remember. In this book, Summitt tells us what is was like to live the season. I saw the Lady Vols play in the NCAA Tournament at Vanderbilt University, as an Illinois fan. I thought that if I heard "Rocky Top" one more time I would scream. By the end of the game, I was singing along. The "Meeks," Kellie Jolly, Ace Clement, Geter -- they bring such excitement to the women's basketball game --- it's contagious! I am a high school girl's coach and have encouraged my team to read this book, and "Reach for The Summitt". Whether you are already a fan of collegiate women's basketball, or are simply looking for a motivational and inspiring book, you will be a fan after reading this book. Women's basketball has needed the Tennessee Lady Vols to elevate the game and bring it the attention it deserves. Of course, I'm still an Illini at heart.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of the Lady Vals. Being from Tennessee, I can truly say that I am very proud of this team and Pat Summitt. I think that she was the best coach that ever coach a team. This just proves that point, she truly cared about winning but she cared more about her players.. She will truly be missed. They did a great tribute to her. It will be hard for other coaches to measure up to her achievement. Thanks Pat.
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Format: Paperback
Coach Summitt has done it again - another best seller - this time taking us inside the locker room with her perfect team! Pat writes likes she coaches - from her heart and with great passion! She pays tribute to her staff, her players, the Lady Vol fans, the support of the University of Tennessee and her family - all are important factors in Lady Vos success, but none more important than Coach Summitt. With over 700 wins and 6 national titles, she is in a class of her own. I wish I'd had a Pat Summitt in my college life, but I am learning from her now, and I am enjoying her success with her every step of the way. Way to go Coach Summitt - I wish you continued success!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have never liked Pat Summit. I thought she was hard & mean & often cruel to her players. I just could never relate to her tactics. That is why I read this book. In my heart I knew there was another side to this woman otherwise why would any player put herself in her path?

The 1997/98 basketball season was miraculous & marvelous & the story captured the excitement & tension & thrills. The descriptions of those determined, talented & yet vulnerable young athletes provided another dimension. It also showed a side of Pat Summit that the public never gets to witness. I was wrong about her.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While not at the highest level of writing, I found ths book well written, compelling, and a great story. It was recommended by a book club member, which is how I came to read this book very much NOT what I would have selected. Very much enjoyed ths inspirational story.
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Format: Hardcover
As a hopeful future Lady Vols star, I loved reading this book. I could see what the Lady Vols went through during their season, which I might add was awesome and what I need to do to play for them! Chamique Holdsclaw has been my role model for four years and I look up to their entire team. As Chamique says: Don't Dream It-- BE IT!
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Format: Paperback
When reading the book, you really had a sense of being a part of the team. I loved how they broke down the incoming freshman and talked about their history before they reached Knoxville Tennessee. Pat Summitt did a wonderful job explaining the struggles and passion that made this team so great. By the end of the book, you were excited for them and their accomplishments, but at the same time you felt disappointed that it ended. It was one of those books that you could keep reading on forever because of how well written and powerful it was. This is the only book I have read more than once.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even better than Pat Summitt's first book! It's thoughtful and well-written. And even though you already know how it ends, it's wonderful from start to finish. I couldn't put it down!
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