Kansas coach Bill Self to be announced as inductee into Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame

Self, a former Oklahoma State standout from Edmond, has won many awards, but this means something. He will be announced as one of seven inductees in this year's class.
by Jenni Carlson Published: January 14, 2013
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photo - Kansas' Bill Self cheers as his team scores against Texas Tech during an NCAA college basketball game in Lubbock, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal,Stephen Spillman) ORG XMIT: TXLUB105
Kansas' Bill Self cheers as his team scores against Texas Tech during an NCAA college basketball game in Lubbock, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal,Stephen Spillman) ORG XMIT: TXLUB105

Bill Self has won many awards, earned many accolades and garnered many honors.

Add another to the list.

During a luncheon Tuesday, Self will be announced as one of this year's seven inductees into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. The basketball coach at Kansas will be inducted in August and join a roster that already includes the likes of Jim Thorpe, Mickey Mantle and Barry Sanders.

And you'd better believe that this honor means something to Self.

Oh, the self-deprecating coach has joked to friends that no halls of fame would have anything to do with him. But for an Oklahoma native who is fiercely loyal to his home state, being included in this state's roll call of sports greats is a thrill.

Self, who was born in Okmulgee, graduated from Edmond Memorial High School, then played at Oklahoma State, has never forgotten from whence he came.

Just ask one of the men who knows him best — his former basketball coach at Edmond Memorial.

“I think one of the most refreshing things about Bill Self is that throughout all of this success,” Mike de la Garza said, “he is still the same guy that I knew when he was in high school.”

You hear that often about people who make it big, don't you? He hasn't changed. He hasn't gone big time.

About half the time, it rings hollow.

But in this case, it seems true.

Self counts his high school buddies as some of his best friends in the world. Jay Davis, for example, graduated Edmond High a year after Self, but more than three decades after they played high school ball together, they remain close.

De la Garza tells a story about his son. Scott de la Garza was in middle school when Self was in high school, and the youngster idolized Self. He wanted to play like him, dribble like him, shoot like him, be like him.

It would've been really easy for Self to dismiss someone so much younger.

Instead, the two became friends, and even now, they remain close.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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