Focusing on The Game

It has been more than a month now that a tragedy rocked the Oklahoma State family, but they want to focus on the game and nothing else.

It's hard not to think about or talk about the tragedy that rocked the Oklahoma State family in November when Kurt Budke, head women's basketball coach, and Miranda Serna, assistant coach, was lost in a plane crash.

"There is a lot of things that go through your mind individually about him, depending on what your relationship was with him," Texas Tech head coach Kristy Curry said about Budke. "I can't even begin to imagine what it's like for that staff and those kids, and we just have so much respect and love for them."

Two games were cancelled, and then the Cowgirls were back to the court where they knew they had to do only one thing – play basketball.

And that's exactly what they will do to open Big 12 Conference play against Texas Tech on Wednesday.

"We're going to throw it up, and we're going to play for 40 minutes and we're all going to compete at the level we need to," Curry said. "When it's over we're going to hug them and continue to keep them in our prayers everyday."

Budke and Serna were well known around the Big 12 for their coaching and much more as Curry said she has thought about him a lot over the holidays and remembers some of the conversations they used to have.

When it came to this game on the schedule Curry, who was close friends with Budke, said when thinking about him, she was going to get ready for this game like he would want her to.

"Do exactly what, as far as what I know Kurt (Budke) would want me to do," Curry said,  "is focus on getting my team ready to play and have them prepared and being a competitor."

Jim Littell has now taken over as the head coach of the Cowgirls, and in a telephone interview on Tuesday was asked about the season so far and simply said he wanted to focus on the game itself.

Littell like the rest of the country watched the Oklahoma State Cowboy football team win the 2012 Tostito's Fiesta Bowl 41-38 in overtime marking the end to a remarkable 12-1 season.

After the game the trophy was presented to head coach Mike Gundy and then he in turn presented it to Mrs. Budke, the wife of Kurt Budke, which was an emotional moment for all.

"I thought it was a very classy gesture on Coach Gundy's part," Littell said. " I thought it was a special way to recognize the special people we did lose."

From the players perspective it must be just as hard or harder losing the coach that recruited them to play, and Tech junior Casey Morris said the squad has a lot of respect for them, but are just ready to play like they are.

"I think it's a tough thing to go through, but I think more hats off to them because losing a coach has to be hard," she said. "I think we all have a lot of respect for them, we know they've been through a lot, but we're all just ready to play (Wednesday)."

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