Sidorakis: Sacrificing For the Team

Oklahoma State's Nick Sidorakis is making the ultimate sacrifice entering his senior season with the Cowboy basketball team. The 6-4 guard from Jenks, Okla., who was named early in the summer a team captain by head coach Travis Ford, has agreed to give his scholarship back and pay his own way in his final year with the Cowboys.

NCAA rules only allow 13 scholarship basketball players each year, and when the Cowboys signed five players in the recruiting Class of 2010, it put Ford's team two over the limit. Freshman Torin Walker transferred to Middle Tennessee State and then Sidorakis offered to give his scholarship back, compete as a walk-on as a senior, and pay his own way, Ford said Tuesday.

"It's the ultimate sacrifice and commitment to a program," said Ford. "To say, ‘If this helps the program, I'll do whatever I will do to help the program.' And that's what he said.

"What an incredible gesture that is for him and his family to do that. With him graduating as a senior, I told him this shows what type of person he is, and it's going to pay off for him. Making this commitment is something you don't see every day," Ford added.

Sidorakis appeared in 24 games last season, averaging 2.5 points for the Cowboys. But OSU fans will not forget his performance in Oklahoma State's 73-69 upset of No. 10-ranked Kansas State on Jan. 23, 2010.

It was his save of an errant pass and subsequent two game-clinching free throws with five seconds remaining that gave the Cowboys the school's first road win over a top-10 team since Jan. 2, 1958. He finished with nine points and four rebounds in 26 minutes of play against the Wildcats.

The Cowboy senior was named a team captain by Ford in May.

"He has always shown his leadership and I think this was just another way, kind of unexpected," said Ford. "But he is the ultimate team guy and he has got an incredible future ahead of him. I think the Cowboy fans and the school realizes what a commitment he has made to do it and everybody appreciates that."

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