OU's shining stars
While I may not be a Big 12 blogger, or get paid as an OU publicist, I can blog, maybe even brag, to the Heavener group about three OU athletes that appear to be the best in the NCAA. I’m talking about Sam Bradford, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback for the Sooners, powerful Blake Griffin of the men’s Sooners basketball team and Courtney Paris, record-setting, double-double performer for the OU women’s basketball team.
Never before has one school turned out athletes to be so dominant in three different sports. Bradford, Griffin and Paris are the crème de la crème of college sports. Two sophomores, boyhood friends who lived only miles apart in Oklahoma City and played little league sports together, and a senior who grew up in on the west coast in Oakland , CA . That all three would wind up at the same college is a major coup for Oklahoma recruiting. Griffin is up for the Naismith and Wooden Trophies and Paris for the Wade Trophy, basketball’s version, or the equivalent, of the Heisman Trophy. Probably Griffin would make a great tight end and Paris might even make a pretty good down defensive lineman at 6-4 and well over 200 pounds. (That’s a joke, but I don’t want to be the one tell her she can’t do it.) Bradford is such a great athlete, he shined on the hardwoods in his young days, and he is also said to be a scratch golfer, too.
On the court, however, Griffin averaged almost 23 points per game and was the top rebounder in the nation with over 14 a game. He was the only unanimous selection to the All-America team. In the NCAA tournament, the 30-6 Sooners reached the elite eight with Griffin hitting 30 a pop and pulling down 15 boards a game. Paris , whose father is former NFL defensive lineman Bubba Paris, averaged 20 points and 14 rebounds per game over her four All-American seasons and at one stretch had 112 consecutive double-doubles. She is the only performer, men or women, to score over 2,500 points and have over 2,000 career rebounds. Quite a feat, huh? The Sooners ladies are 32-4 and will be in this weekend’s “March to the Arch” Final Four bidding for a national title. Bradford passed for over 4,400 yards and 48 touchdowns last season as OU reached the national championship game a 13-2 campaign. He could be the top pick in the NFL draft a year from now, but he’s coming back for his junior year to try and lead Oklahoma to another title game shot next season.
How about OU baseball? Runs have come in bunches as the Sooners are nationally-ranked and out to a 23-6 (4-2, 2nd in Big 12) record, en route to scoring at a terrific clip, including plating 29 in a rout of Kansas State just a week or so ago. They’ve scored at least 10 runs in a game 14 times thus far.
So, whether it’s football, basketball or baseball, if you’re an OU fan, things look rosy in Norman right now.