For Immediate Release: April 12, 2012
Former OSU President, Sen. Jim Halligan welcomes the OSU Cowgirls
Basketball Team to the Senate.
Senate honors OSU Cowgirls Basketball Team
The State Senate honored the Oklahoma State University
Cowgirls Basketball Team Thursday for their outstanding 2012 season
capped by winning the Women's National Invitation Tournament for
the first time in school history. A resolution was approved congratulating
the team for their courage and perseverance following the tragic
plane crash involving head coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach
Miranda Serna along with OSU alumni, pilot and former Oklahoma
State Senator Olin Branstetter and his wife, Paula on November
17, 2011. Senate Concurrent Resolution 37 was authored by former
OSU President Sen. Jim
Halligan and OSU alum Sen. Eddie
"After everything this team has gone through in the last
six months, these ladies showed tremendous heart and courage throughout
the season and they are to be commended," said Halligan,
R-Stillwater. "Their dedication and perseverance is an amazing
tribute to the memories of our lost OSU family members."
The Cowgirls promised to pay honor to those who died and fulfilled
that promise by persevering in 2012 under the direction of assistant
coach Jim Littell with a 22-12 record. The team landed a spot
in the Women's National Invitation Tournament, which was a school
record being the sixth straight year the program had competed
in postseason play. They won the tournament by defeating James
Madison 75-68 in Stillwater.
OSU alum Gov. Mary Fallin attended the ceremony to congratulate
and praise the team for their outstanding season.
"As I think about the terrible tragedy that hit our Oklahoma
family and certainly our OSU family, it reminds me of a profile
in courage. These Cowgirls, coaches and support staff reached
deep inside their hearts and displayed the courage and resiliency
during a trying time that has made Oklahoma so famous,”
said Fallin. “It's been a very difficult time with the loss
of coaches Serna, Budke and the Branstetters, but this team has
made the university and our entire state so proud by winning the
WNIT and they continue to be an inspiration for all of Oklahoma
and the nation."
After the reading of the resolution, Coach Jim Littell also addressed
"We are so proud of these young ladies, coaches and support
staff that have shown great resiliency and great courage throughout
the year. In November, we decided to pay honor, and I think the
way they finished the season they definitely did pay honor. I've
coached 34 years, and I don't know if I've ever been more proud
of a group of young ladies than this group," said Littell.
"We are extremely appreciative of this wonderful recognition
by Senators Halligan and Fields and the entire Oklahoma Senate.
This is a special honor for all of us."
The OSU women's basketball program was honored by RUSSELL ATHLETIC
and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) receiving
the inaugural RUSSELL ATHLETIC "Together We R" Team
Award, which honors programs that have striven to succeed in the
face of adversity, overcoming extraordinary circumstances.
"These ladies didn't let this tragedy pull them apart instead
it made them stronger. They showed the nation what true courage
and spirit is, and what can be achieved through strong teamwork,"
said Fields, R-Wynona. "We are extremely proud of our Cowgirls
and wish them the best in their future endeavors."
OSU President Burns Hargis also attended the ceremony and praised
the team and said the school appreciated everyone's support and
encouragement this season.
"This whole team showed determination and persistence that
we can all be inspired by. It was a very tough time, and they
did it," said Hargis. "I'm so proud of this team. Nothing
would have made Kurt and Miranda prouder and happier than what
this team has done. We have appreciated all of your support, all
the encouragement, all the prayers because this is one great group
of people and we're very proud of them."