March 13, 2014

Former player remembers last Lady Chicks state trip


The last time a Lady Chicks basketball team went to state, none of the current squad, technically, existed.

It was 1995, the first internet search engine, Yahoo!, had just been invented; in that early spring time no one was aware of the fate facing the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City, and the WNBA wasn't even around. The feelings inside the Lady Chicks' camp then are now being played out once again.

"None of these girls were born yet, I was a freshman in college; that really puts it in perspective," head coach Christy Edelen said. "It's an honor that doesn't come around too often."

Kelley Workman and her twin sister, Michele, remember that 1995 run to the state final well, along with the feelings that came with it.

"It was more than just nervous butterflies," said Kelley Workman, a Chickasha senior and future all-state selection at the time. "There was an excitement, an energy. We were definitely competitors; we lived in the gym. It was our desire to win the gold ball."

The heavily-recruited Workman sisters (Michele was also an all-state selection) had a big future ahead of them, going on to play at the University of Oklahoma and continuing work in basketball as a positive tool in ministry. But there was something about that team in that moment, perhaps unified by a trip to state the previous year. It's one that Workman said was deemed unsatisfactory when they reached the quarterfinals, but no further.

"That left us disappointed, because we knew we were better than that," she said. "We knew what our target was, and the next year we worked hard toward it."

A year later, with that experience still fresh in the memory, they returned with Christy Brown Oliver at point guard, Lisa Beal Clift at shooting guard, Kelley as a three guard, and Michele and Lydia Nightingale working in the front court.

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