Dean Blevins: Special Night At Norman High A Reminder Of 'Uniquely Special' Days

Sports Director Dean Blevins reminisces about his days at Norman High, and shares his excitement celebrating a special night with his fellow Norman High 'Wall Of Famers.'

Friday, February 9th 2024, 11:45 pm


'Everything is relative, man,' a popular phrase used back in the Stone Age – specifically in my prep and college days. With tomorrow’s celebration of former Norman High School basketball players returning for Friday’s important boys' game against Lawton, the catchphrase comes to mind.

Of all the big games I’ve been lucky to have been a part of – including football national title teams and the like – nothing consistently delivered your typist here more joy than the games and moments savored during my NHS basketball career.

With lifetime friends as teammates and coaches, there was something uniquely special during those times. With those joyous times front of mind, helping bring back former teammates and other NHS alums, has triggered so many indelible memories.

At halftime of Norman’s big game, many of those prep cager pals who wore orange and black will be recognized. And notably, many of the players who are Norman basketball hall-of-famers (technically, Wall of Famers) will be singled out. We’ve spoken/communicated with a few of the best of the best – Rick Kersey, John Carroll, Gregg Byrum, to name a few.

Coach Cory Cole’s idea. An idea that next year will be greatly expanded and promoted to bring in masses of alums. Cole, a former gifted Tiger and current head coach, has this 2023-24 club back in the hunt. Coached well and playing well, I’m told by eyewitnesses and prep basketball people.

We’ve got them coming from far and wide. Lifetime pal/teammate Vic Hodges coming to celebrate all the way from Atlanta. Others from around the state. Participating because of an unbreakable bond formed with guys I went to school and played ball from second grade through Year 12. And beyond.

I so wish the great Max Marquardt, my NHS coach and prep hall of famer, – was alive and could take part. With that memorable flushed red face and muscled up neck with veins-a-poppin’, no one was above a … well, a … let’s call it an in-your-face-and-space, one-on-one motivational speech. Missed also will be his infamous storytelling ability, regularly juiced even more with limitless hyperbole.

Talk about time flying by. I remember specifics about things that happened in that gym in the hundreds upon hundreds of hours spent there. I can’t remember our ZIP code today, but I’ll never forget Max green-lighting passes whipped 50-feet and the Globetrotter pregame music he let us play of "Sweet Georgia Brown." The Sundays Max would give me the key to the gym, and fifteen guys would show up and go go at it full speed until the cows came home. Or when Max showed up to shut ‘er down.

We hope not only our former players but lots of locals join us in supporting Coach Cole and this version of Norman Tiger basketball.


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