Red Dirt Diaries: Invite Makes For Special Moment For Young Sooner Fan

Friday, April 1st 2016, 5:24 pm
By: Karl Torp

Barry Randle and his son 11-year-old son Abe were all smiles in Waco earlier this season.

The Sooners basketball team just knocked off Baylor and both got close enough to high five players as they walked off the floor.

“I was the only kid up there,” Abe Randle said.

He was also the fan head coach Lon Kruger invited back into the locker room to celebrate the win with the team.

“I was sort of hesitating, and my dad behind me was saying ‘say yes,’” Abe said.

“I was almost tackling Able to get in there first,” Barry Randle said. “Before Lon had talked to team about the game, he introduced Abe. He had Abe give high fives to every player before he addressed the team about winning the game."

Pictures with the team followed. Abe also got the arm sleeve of star Sooner Buddy Hield.

"It’s just truly amazing,” the 11-year-old said.

So amazing that Barry Randle was compelled to put pen to paper.

In his letter to Kruger he explained that his own parents, who had passed away, were Kansas State alums like Kruger.

He explained how excited they would have been for Abe to meet the coach.

His thank you letter went in the mail on Monday.

Just four days later, Barry Randle received his own "handwritten" thank you from Kruger.

“I remember Abe. Big smile that makes everyone feel great,” Kruger said earlier this week in Norman.

Coach said he occasionally invites youngsters back to the locker room because his players love it.

The same can obviously be said about the lucky fans themselves that get such an invite from the coach.

“I don’t think there’s been a day that goes by that he hasn’t talked about the experience that happened in January,” Barry Randle said.

“I’m going to show to my kids, my kids’ kids, my kids’ kids’ kids,” Abe raved about the letter and arm sleeve, which now hangs on his wall.