Going Out In Style

Oklahoma State fans have watched the transformation of Obi Muonelo the last four years. He went from a 240-pound freshman that averaged 10 minutes a game to a senior who can play any of the five positions on the floor and who Kansas coach Bill Self says creates matchup nightmares for opposing teams. The 6-5, 215-pound Muonelo will be recognized during Senior Day festivities on Saturday.

Muonelo, the only senior on the OSU squad, will play his final game at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Saturday against Nebraska (tip-off is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.).

The Cowboys will be looking to finish above .500 in Big 12 play as they enter the regular season finale at 20-9 overall and 8-7 in conference action. Regardless of Saturday's outcome, they will be the No. 7 seed in the Big 12 Tournament next week, and play a first-round game at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Muonelo has been outstanding throughout his senior season, averaging 13.4 points and 5.2 rebounds while starting all 29 games. And when he takes off the OSU jersey for the last time – following a second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament – his name will be etched in the school record books.

He is just one of five players in school history to have recorded 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 steals. Muonelo joins former Cowboy standouts Byron Houston, Chianti Roberts, Adrian Peterson and Randy Rutherford as the only players to ever achieve those numbers during their playing careers.

He also is just the 18th player in OSU history to score more than 1,300 points during his career, and ranks No. 13 in career rebounds with 574. Muonelo ranks second only to Rutherford with 235 three-pointers made in a career and 608 three-pointers attempted.

Not only has Muonelo transformed himself into an outstanding college basketball player but the Edmond, Okla., senior also has made an about-face off the court. He began his college career as a health and human performance major, according to the 2007-08 OSU Basketball Media Guide, but now has other plans if a career in professional basketball does not materialize.

"I'd like to pursue (basketball) as a career after college and hopefully play professional basketball in the NBA," Muonelo said in an interview prior to the season.

But Muonelo is unlike a majority of college basketball players who don't know what they are going to do if a pro basketball career does not work out. He has a backup plan, and has already begun implementing plans to see it through.

"I'm heavy into fashion, everybody knows me for my fashion sense. I've always been that way," said Muonelo, who would definitely win a best-dressed Cowboy contest if one were held.

Muonelo changed his major to fashion apparel design a few years ago, and has already begun thinking about a future outside of basketball.

"I'd like to start making suits. They'll be called Obi Muonelo Suits," he said. "I have some designs in my head, and I'd like to start putting them on paper. Then branch off into jeans and other clothes. But I'd like to start off with suits and nice formal wear, high-end shoes, high-end everything."

Muonelo says he never leaves his Stillwater apartment without making sure he looks just right.

"In high school I always dressed nice but not as nice as I do now. I was a good dresser in high school," he said.

"It's something that grabbed me. When I'm walking around people always tell me I look like a model or something. When I dress up and really get dressed, people say it really looks nice. I guess it's something that grabbed me more than anything."

The lone Cowboy senior would like nothing better than to make his final appearance at Gallagher-Iba Arena something everyone remembers. It'll be interesting to see if he does that on the court against the Cornhuskers – possibly breaking his career high in points (32), rebounds (15) or assists (7), or all three – or with a special Obi Muonelo suit for Senior Day.

Either way, Muonelo won't soon be forgotten by Cowboy fans.


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