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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

Title IX probably passed while I was a junior in college. It didn't become effective until right as I graduated. I don't think some of us knew the significance at the time. I remember thinking I was gonna get to play on a women's golf team at OU before I graduated, but they didn't get it started in time. My sister got to play on the very first women's golf team back before they had scholarships.

After Title IX, more schools invested in more sports for girls. I don't think we realized for a number of years the opportunities that would be provided for young women to earn scholarships and be able to go to college, where they might not have had the resources otherwise.

My parents were for OU, then they were for any other school in the state of Oklahoma, then they were for any other school in the conference — except my dad always had a hard time once Texas joined the Big 12.

I grew up with that being something I saw my parents doing together, and they enjoyed having the children go with them. It was a family event.

I started going to the OU women's games probably in the late 1990s. Former speaker Loyd Benson used to go down to the games sometimes during session. One time, he invited myself and a couple other women representatives to go with him, and I got hooked.

I went to San Antonio and watched when we made the Final Four and the championship game in 2002. I loved watching those young women compete with all the talent and all the heart that they had. They were passionate about their work in basketball the way I felt about public service.

I felt, as a woman, it was important to be supportive of OU basketball. And I often went to the OSU Cowgirl games, too. Coach (Kurt) Budke and I were friends.

As much as it's being supportive, sometimes that's my outlet. As a state representative, I used to laugh and tell my colleagues that they should want me to go to the games, because I could yell at the officials and get my frustrations out so I didn't yell at my colleagues at work.

Once a judge, always a judge. I've been known to have an opinion on a call or two.

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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