Sutton's Cowboys influenced career choice

Friday, June 26, 2015

Sunday was my 25th birthday and as I rounded the turn to the quarter-century pole, it made me ponder how I got to where I am today. A big reason behind it is longtime Arkansas and Oklahoma State basketball coach Eddie Sutton.

I grew up an Oklahoma State fan and while the school is known for its football prowess now, when I grew up, Coach Sutton had the basketball program rolling and Bob Simmons had the football program stumbling. We had sharpshooters like John Lucas III, defensive warriors in Ivan McFarlin and the do-it all players such as Tony Allen, just to name a few. And you can't forget the Coach Sutton scowl as he roamed the Gallagher-Iba Arena floor.

My entire family loved those teams. I would call my aunt and grandma before and after the games to talk about how the games went, no matter the time of night.

Those Oklahoma State basketball teams are what first got me into sports. If football wasn't going well, you always had basketball to fall back on starting in November. When I learned Oklahoma State had a journalism program, it was a no-brainer for me to go to school there, as English was always my favorite subject in high school.

I couldn't wait to get to Stillwater and watch those teams continue to succeed. But things happened, and three years before I got to college Sutton resigned.

The basketball program hasn't been the same since then. But in a way I am OK with that. Growing up, feeling like I was a part of OSU basketball meant something. Those games I went to, those ticket stubs I still have is something I look back on and will cherish forever. This isn't the sole reason I got to where I am today, but here is to thanking Coach Sutton and the other coaches and players for starting to push me in the right direction.

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Ty Loftis is the sports editor for the Carroll County News. His e-mail address is CCNSports@cox-internet.com

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