Collected Wisdom: Andrea Riley, former Oklahoma State basketball standout

Andrea Riley played overseas and bounced around the WNBA. She's now a mother and engaged to be married. And she's currently a free agent looking for a new pro team to play for this summer.
by Gina Mizell Modified: February 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm •  Published: February 23, 2013
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Andrea Riley became a dynamic, do-it-all playmaker for Oklahoma State and left the school in 2010 as the Big 12's all-time leading scorer.

She's experienced a lot of life since then.

She's played overseas and bounced around the WNBA. She's now a mother and engaged to be married. And she's currently a free agent looking for a new pro team to play for this summer.

Still, Riley has taken plenty of lessons from her time at OSU — and, specifically, from late head coach Kurt Budke — and calls Stillwater her second home.

My dad was the one who really, really taught me (how to play basketball) and really spent a lot of time with me going over stuff and really getting the fundamentals. … He doesn't talk about points. He doesn't talk about anything positive. He talks about turnovers. How many assists did you have? Your percentage has to be better. Why did you miss that many free throws?

My mom also pushed me as well. She was, like, a mother on the go, and that kind of inspired me as well because she did whatever she had to do to make sure (her kids) were OK, to make sure we fulfilled our dreams.

Byron Eaton, he came from my high school, so he's like a big brother to me. When he signed here, we talked to him. And then Coach Kenya (Larkin) and Coach (Kurt) Budke really, really pushed (to recruit me). I had verbally committed to Miami, and that's where I was going to go. I ended up coming here because it seemed more family-oriented.

Our first workout outside (at OSU), I passed out. It was bad. To be honest, I quit three times that year. What made me keep going was Coach Budke talked to me, Coach Kenya, Coach (Jim) Littell, everyone was making sure I tried to keep my head focused on it. I think it paid off a lot.

A couple of the biggest things I learned (in college) was to really handle adversity and also be a leader.

(Budke) just always pushed me to be a better person. He was like, ‘I want, when you leave here, to later on in life be a great wife, to be a great mother.' That's what helped me, because I never had anybody talk to me like that. You're looking at the future, you're not just looking at just the now.

One moment that really stuck out to me was when we were at (Texas) A&M and it was my sophomore year. We went there and we were down by nine or 10 with three minutes to go. And we came back and then I would say there were like 20 seconds left and (Budke) pulled me aside from the huddle and he said, ‘I know you can win this game. Go win it.' I was like, ‘Oh, yeah.' … I hit a 3 and that's what won the game. I think that was the moment that I knew Coach had complete trust in me. I was his girl. I was the person that he could really count on through anything.


by Gina Mizell
OSU Sports Reporter
Gina Mizell joined The Oklahoman in August of 2011 as the Oklahoma State beat writer, where she covered the Cowboys' historic run to the Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl in her first season on the job. Before arriving in Stillwater, Gina was...
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