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Girls basketball roundup: Coach Arnelia Spears honored after Millwood's victory over OKC Storm

Nearly 300 former players honored Arnelia Spears' legendary career on the floor of Franklin-Spears Gymnasium on Tuesday following Millwood's 53-30 victory over the OKC Storm.
by Jacob Unruh Published: February 11, 2014

Longtime Millwood coach Arnelia Spears struggled to find the right words. She even struggled to fight off tears.

But she didn't need to say much.

Instead, she enjoyed the surprise of nearly 300 former players honoring her legendary career on the floor of Franklin-Spears Gymnasium on Tuesday following Millwood's 53-30 victory over the OKC Storm.

“There is no words,” said Spears, who is retiring following the season. “I try to teach my basketball players all the time to just shut up and do it. Actions speak louder than words.

“But nobody's ever surprised me like this. I don't know how they got past me on this, I really don't. Usually I know everything, but this was a big one.”

Spears has been coaching for more than 40 years at Millwood, where she has nearly 800 career wins and three state championships.

The Falcons' gym even carries her name, and Tuesday was her final regular-season game there.

“Coach Spears is just passionate about helping kids,” Millwood athletic director and assistant girls basketball coach Shannon Hayes said. “She loves basketball, her passion for it, her vision and her concepts, they're all in a league of their own.

“Everybody who was here tonight, it lets you know how many people she has impacted over the last 40 years.”

Even as her final season winds down, Spears remains focused on winning one final gold ball.

Tuesday's performance, though, was a display of what the top-ranked Falcons need to work on as they struggled to put away the Storm until the fourth quarter.

“It hasn't been pretty,” Spears said. “They're better, but not to my expectations. We've still got a lot of work to do. Normally they come together at the end, so we'll see.”

Raven Prince scored 25 points for the Falcons. Pae Pae Hawkins scored 14 for the Storm.

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by Jacob Unruh
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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