In 2002, USAO's men's basketball team won the NAIA national championship title. Saturday, the entire team was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.
Head coach and athletic director, Brisco McPherson, explained the decision to include the whole team.
"For me, it was important for the whole team because it's always going to be a team effort," said McPherson. "To get there and not win it in 2001, and then come back the next year and win it is just a supreme effort by the entire team. I thought it was a special moment for all of them."
Every player on the team, as well as the manager, athletic trainer and both coaches were inducted during the halftime of the men's basketball game against Langston. The total count was 18. The school more than doubled their number of Hall of Famers.
The induction ceremony took place in the middle of USAO's 40th Anniversary of Drover Athletics, which took place over the weekend. The players again were honored at the 40th Anniversary Banquet on Saturday night.
In addition to being inducted as a team and individually as a coach and former player, long-time McPherson was surprised when USAO officials announced to him that they would be dedicating the USAO Fieldhouse gym floor in his honor. From now on, the Drovers will play on Brisco McPherson Court.
"You don't expect something like that. I don't know that my name ought to be on anything. This university's a lot bigger than me, basketball," McPherson said humbly. "That anyone would think that of me that way is overwhelming. It was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. It was an emotional time for me."
McPherson is the winningest coach in school history and the 22nd winningest active coach in the NAIA. He is just six wins away from a career 300th. He has been the Drovers' head coach since 1991.
Additionally, McPherson was a member of USAO's first men's basketball team in 1973. He's still present in the record books and was the school's second member of the 1,000-Point Club.
Also inducted into the Hall of Fame were: Corey Wicker, Romeo Bryant, Mark Mayfield, Hayden Herrin, Alvin Bateman, Russell Eary, Michael Williamson, Theron Jackson, Tyrone Johnson, Micah Boylan, Ramar Boylan, Randy Hughes, Dexter Patrick, Richard Svarovsky, Carey Phariss, Amanda Woods and Vinson Metcalf.
They join the 16 previously inducted Hall of Famers. USAO began the Hall of Fame in 1993.