More than a game: A Tribute to Kurt Budke

Published: Jan. 5, 2012 at 8:38 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 5, 2012 at 8:42 PM CST
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Athletes arm-in-arm after Wednesday's Tech-Ok St game
Athletes arm-in-arm after Wednesday's Tech-Ok St game

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lady Raider head coach Kristy Curry told reporters Wednesday night, after a 58-53 win over Oklahoma State, this was more than just a game. She was right.

Less than two months after losing their head coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna in a plane crash, the Oklahoma State Cowgirls took the floor in their conference opener at Texas Tech. Even though they weren't victorious against a now 13-0 Lady Raiders team, Curry made one thing certain.

"Nobody lost that game tonight," said a reflective Curry. "I know Kurt and Miranda had the best seat in the house tonight, and I know he was proud of both teams, she was too, about how they competed."

After the game, Curry encouraged the Cowgirl players to stay on the floor as the Texas Tech band played a tribute to the athletes and coaching staff. Instead of playing the 'Matador Song'(a Texas Tech tradition after every women's home game), the band played the Oklahoma State alma mater - a gesture Curry consulted the Oklahoma State coaching staff about before the game.

"Kristy Curry is a class act," Oklahoma State head coach Jim Littell said. "She's a good basketball coach, but she's a better person...she's a tremendous lady, I consider her a friend."

Curry told reporters Budke was one of her closest friends in coaching, which made the game and postgame ceremony even more special to her.

"I know what he would want, is for his kids to fight and continue to improve every day," said Curry. "On any given night, they can beat anybody in this league, just as we can, so they've got a great opportunity to have a great season."

"There's something more important than a basketball game, and that's what I hope everyone took home from this arena tonight."

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