Oklahoma basketball: OU offer a dream come true for Carl Albert's Gioya Carter

HOOP DREAMS — Carl Albert's Gioya Carter decided when she was about 10 that she was going to be a Sooner. When Sherri Coale offered her a scholarship last year, the tears started flowing immediately.
by Ryan Aber Published: January 31, 2013

“Her parents have done such an incredibly good job of raising her and keeping her in check as far as being humble and realizing that it's still a team game.”

What the family didn't know at the time was how much the decision to put her at Carl Albert would help her chances of winding up in Norman.

One of Price's best friends is longtime Oklahoma assistant Chad Thrailkill.

Almost immediately after Carter had started practicing with Carl Albert, before that OU camp even, Price told Thrailkill he might want to keep an eye on his young guard.

“By the time her sophomore year was finished, they were convinced she could play for them,” Price said. “They still had to make sure it worked with the spots they were going to have open and there were some doubts that could work sometimes, but they knew she had that talent.”

Stretches like the one she turned in last week in the Titans' own tournament final over Millwood are the reason Price is so thrilled to have Carter — and Coale is thrilled to be getting her.

Near the end of the third quarter, with Carl Albert down, Carter completely took over the game.

She scooped up rebound after rebound on the defensive end, turning them into points on the other end either with her own driving or through assists.

She also got into the Falcons' heads, drawing a technical foul after creating a turnover.

“I didn't have my feet and my legs were tired,” Carter said. “I told myself — I talk to myself a lot — ‘You can do this.' I kept pushing my teammates and we just pulled together.”

Carter helped propel Carl Albert to the come-from-behind win and won the tournament's Most Valuable Player honors.

Looking back on it a bit more than a year later, Coale still gets goose bumps thinking about that moment in her office.

“For every ‘No,' you get in this business and all the crazy stuff that we endure when recruiting kids ... when you get one like that and you forget all the bad stuff for awhile and you think, ‘I might could do this forever,' because that moment is worth its weight in gold.”


by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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Noble at Class 5A No. 4 Carl Albert

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Carl Albert High School

Noteworthy: The Titans have won five games in a row, including three consecutive games last week to win the Titan Classic. ... Carl Albert beat Guthrie on Tuesday 50-49. ... Noble lost to Piedmont, 74-33. ... The game will be the final considered for seeding purposes for the teams. Playoff brackets for 6A and 5A will be released Feb. 7.

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