STILLWATER — The number 10 already holds a special place in Oklahoma State history.
Now, that place has been forever memorialized.
The Cowboys retired the No. 10 during a halftime ceremony Wednesday night, the eve of the 10th anniversary of the plane crash. It was the culmination of an evening of events honoring the 10 members of the OSU basketball family who died on a return trip from Colorado.
Cowboy basketball has no other retired numbers.
A new banner recognizing The 10 was dropped from the Gallagher-Iba Arena rafters, replacing the banner that has hung there since the crash.
“These were 10 great lives,” former OSU great Desmond Mason said during the ceremony as he spoke directly to the family members in attendance. “They made an impact on this university, and they will always be remembered.
“Thank you very much for allowing them to be in our lives.”
Former players Andre Williams and Doug Gottlieb also addressed the crowd before Eddie Sutton took the microphone. The legendary coach spoke of the difficulty that faced everyone in the program and in the Cowboy family in those days following the crash.
“That accident affected Oklahoma State University like nothing that had ever happened before,” he said. “It changed our lives.”
It changed Sutton. He said he pledged after the crash to tell his family every day that he loved them, a promise he has kept.
He said the accident also made him realize that family extended beyond blood.
“We have become a whole family because of this accident,” Sutton said as he looked at the section where the families and players sat. “Those 10 guys were special. There wasn't a bad guy in that whole lot.”