I know not everyone who reads this website is a K-State fan, some people are far from it. But I do know that everyone supports a team in the Big 12. I will admit I am going to contradict myself. If KU was in this situation, I would more than likely not cheer for them for numerous reasons. Oklahoma is an exception and here’s why.
Quick little flashback: Growing up we always called him Uncle Steve, not really thinking anything of it. I knew he was a good basketball player and coach. He and his wife Cindy would come visit occasionally. I later realized they were just good family friend of ours since his wife is my aunt’s best friend, but they seemed like family to us.
If you don’t know who Steve Henson is, just look for the bald coach on the Oklahoma bench. Henson was a star at Kansas State where he played from 1986-1990. He is Kansas State’s all time leader in assists and remains in the top ten all-time NCAA career free throw percentage list. Henson played under Kruger when he was at Kansas State and formed a really strong relationship with him.
Henson and Kruger have been together for 17 of the last 30 college basketball seasons. Four of them being when Henson was a player and Kruger was his coach. The other thirteen of them were when Henson was Kruger’s assistant coach. This marks their 13th NCAA Tournament together.
Both Henson and Kruger think this is the best team they have coached this includes teams that Henson played on and Kruger coached. This is saying a lot considering the 1988 team had Mitch Richmond and Henson on it. Or the 2000 Illinois team they coached when Brian Cook and Frank Williams played. Kruger has a very impressive coaching resume. Kruger has had NCAA Tournament wins with a record five schools, six Sweet 16 appearances and two Final 4 appearances.
I have numerous reasons to cheer for Oklahoma to win it all. But as a Kansas State alum and supporter of the Big 12 (for the most part), I hope the Sooners can pull it out. I would love to see one of the nicest coaches in the nation finally win a National Championship and for my Uncle Steve to get one, too.
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