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Oklahoma State basketball: Kurt Budke's son, Alex, will be a walk-on for Cowboys

Alex Budke played last season at St. Gregory's, an NAIA school in Shawnee. He wanted to return to Stillwater to be closer to family.
By Anthony Slater Published: September 6, 2012
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photo - Alex and Shelley Budke sing the Alma Mater during the women's college game between Oklahoma State University and Coppin State at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla.,  Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011.  Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Alex and Shelley Budke sing the Alma Mater during the women's college game between Oklahoma State University and Coppin State at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

“I knew him over the years from being up here all the time,” Alex said. “I had some people help me get in contact with him when I was still in school down at Shawnee.”

It didn't take long for Ford to agree.

“He wanted to play basketball, continue to be around the game, and I know he loves Oklahoma State,” Ford said. “I'm excited we are able to give him this opportunity and make him feel at home. We are excited he wanted to do it, and it was able to work out.”

But Ford wanted to make it clear that he wasn't just giving Alex a charity roster spot.

Last season, gutted by transfers and injuries, the Cowboys were limited on practice bodies. At one point, Ford had to get out there and run with the team.

So an extra player, especially a hardworking coach's son, was welcomed. The fact that he was a Budke — just icing on the cake.

“He obviously is a good player, a kid that understands the game and has been around the game his whole life,” Ford said. “He understands what to expect, he's been around it. He and I have sat down and talked about being a walk-on and understanding that's not an easy position. He seemed fine with it, and we are obviously happy to have him.”