STILLWATER — Every day during her freshman season, former Oklahoma State women's basketball player Ally Clardy would roll out of bed and be ready to work out inside Gallagher-Iba Arena at 5 a.m.
So would Miranda Serna.
The Cowgirl assistant coach noticed Clardy was struggling in her first season in the college game in 2007. Clardy was also sitting behind future Big 12 scoring leader Andrea Riley at point guard, meaning playing time was hard to come by.
But that didn't matter to Serna. The coach came up with the early morning workout regimen for Clardy, which usually included nothing more than basic drills and running but did wonders for Clardy's confidence.
“You can just get so down when things aren't going right,” Clardy said. “But she pulled me out of the deepest hole.
“She devoted her time to me, and I think that's so rare to find in college basketball people. If I said, ‘Coach Serna, 5 doesn't work for me. Does 3 work?' She would have been here at 3.”
That's how Serna, who was killed in a plane crash with OSU head coach Kurt Budke and Olin and Paula Branstetter on Thursday night, will be remembered by those she influenced.
She was a giver.
Sometimes, there would be actual presents involved, like when Serna stocked up on candy for the OSU staff this past Halloween or once bought a team trainer a brand new pair of Nikes on a whim.
Sometimes, Serna gave the Cowgirls a laugh. Like the time she acted out scenes from the movies Remember the Titans, Gladiator and The Little Giants because an inspirational montage she put together using clips from those movies would not play during a film session.