Keiton Page is a big piece of OSU's storied basketball tradition

On an evening that Oklahoma State celebrated Senior Night, a 70-58 loss to Kansas was all but overshadowed by Keiton Page Appreciation Night. It was fitting that he was the only senior player. He deserved to stand alone.
by Jenni Carlson Published: February 27, 2012

David and Karen Page know how significant the school records and the big games are. They are extremely proud of those accomplishments because they realize how storied the OSU tradition is.

But the records and milestones and accolades aren't the things that make them smile most.

Karen loves to talk about how her boy has always been a fighter, how he's had that spirit from the time he was born. She beams when she recalls how he's always had used that against the doubters.

He was the small-town kid who showed he belonged on the elite-level summer team.

He was the undersized guard who proved he could play big-time college basketball.

“He's worked so hard,” his mom said. “I just keep thinking he's gotta be so tired. It wears me out just watching him run around out there.”

No doubt he's worn out plenty of opponents.

“I'm glad he's a senior,” Jayhawk coach Bill Self joked.

But seriously, the former Cowboy has as much respect for Page as anyone living outside Payne County. He applauded along with the Gallagher-Iba throng when the Cowboys took Page out of the game with less than a minute left. He took extra time talking to Page as the teams shook hands at the end of the game.

“What a career,” Self said.

Page's hard-nosed style has made him a favorite among Cowboy fans.

And the way he's handled that stardom is what makes David beam.

Keiton will go scouting at high school games with his dad, who coaches at Pawnee, but he rarely gets to watch any of the game. People are always approaching him with requests, and Keiton never says no.

“The neatest thing for me as a parent is to see how Keiton handles all the people that approach him,” his dad said. “The pictures. The hugs. The kisses. The autographs. He spends as much time with whoever as he possibly can.

“Keiton, I don't think, has ever said no.”

That's why he had to call his dad with that bad news a couple years ago. He ended up being almost an hour late that day, but that is now one of his dad's favorite stories about his son.

“There's a lot of people that are proud of him,” David said, “but it can't go any deeper than family. We're tremendously proud.

“He's been great.”

Hard to stay mad at a guy like that.

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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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