Collected wisdom: Jari Askins

Former Oklahoma lieutenant governor will be at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Sunday to watch Oklahoma face Tennessee.
by Jason Kersey Published: March 30, 2013
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photo - DEMOCRAT / GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Oklahoma Democratic candidate for governor Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, waves and thanks supporters after losing the election to Republican congresswoman Mary Fallin on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams) ORG XMIT: OKAA102
DEMOCRAT / GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Oklahoma Democratic candidate for governor Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, waves and thanks supporters after losing the election to Republican congresswoman Mary Fallin on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams) ORG XMIT: OKAA102

Age: 59

Residence: Oklahoma City

Jari Askins bought her tickets to the NCAA women's basketball regional in Oklahoma City months ago, confident Oklahoma would be playing in Chesapeake Energy Arena this weekend.

It turns out Askins was right; the former Oklahoma lieutenant governor rarely misses an OU women's basketball game, and can also be regularly spotted at various other athletic events around the state.

Askins, who grew up in Duncan, served eight years as a Stephens County special judge, spent 12 years in the state House of Representatives and in 2006 was elected lieutenant governor, a post she held for one four-year term.

Askins won the Democratic Party's nomination for governor in 2010, but was defeated in the general election. Today, she serves as associate provost for external relations at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

In my family, you had to promise to play golf before you could be born. Golf was our family activity. My parents were very good golfers, and my brother and sister both lettered at OU. We didn't have a high school team. We played growing up and played tournaments in the summer.

In the summers, we played softball. I loved playing softball; I think that's where I really started learning to love team sports.

When I was in junior high and high school, the only sport we had for girls was tennis, so I played tennis.

Golf is probably the first sport where I learned rules. I really think that learning to play golf and learning the rules of golf really helped establish a lot of my foundation for ethics and integrity.

My mother used to always tell us, “Golf is the only sport where you call a penalty on yourself.”

We took that really seriously. Rules became important to me because of golf. I do think later in my career, that sense of right and wrong got reinforced because of playing by the rules.

It helped me develop that sense that some things are right, and some things are wrong. Even if people don't see you do something, it's still wrong.

I think everything that I learned through those activities certainly translated later into working in the office, being collegial there. Knowing that your co-workers have different strengths, and certainly if you're trying to build a leadership team, in making sure that you find people with different strengths and put them in the best spots. I think all of that goes back to learning it in an athletic competition.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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