Tennessee guard Meighan Simmons is a finalist for the Wade Trophy, given to the most outstanding player in NCAA Division I women's basketball.
Simmons is also the older sister of Oklahoma State linebacker Ryan Simmons.
On Sunday, when Tennessee faces Oklahoma in a Sweet 16 game in the Oklahoma City Regional, Ryan will get to watch his sister play live, sitting with his family and maybe a few Oklahoma State friends to cheer on the Vols.
The Oklahoman caught up with Meighan Simmons before her team's NCAA Regional practice at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Q: How many times have you been to this part of Oklahoma?
A: I don't think I've ever even been to Oklahoma. Nope. I've never been to Oklahoma actually.
Did you ever think of coming to play anywhere in Oklahoma?
I don't think I ever did. I was just so focused on trying to get better, no matter where I went. But as long as I went to a place that had the style of play that I did. I loved Tennessee. It was just my dream to always play for Tennessee.
What's your relationship like with Ryan?
I think for us two, we're kind of in the same position. We're both at D-I colleges. We're playing the sport that we love. We're getting an education. Our relationship — like when I see him and I talk to him — it can be emotional at times because we don't really talk as much because we're both always on the go. But when we talk, it's always a loving moment. At any point in time, if I need him, he's always there.
What has he told you about Oklahoma?
He's just told me that he loves it. He loves his position that he's in. He loves the aura and the fan base and all that. He just says it's a good place to be.
What should Oklahoma State fans know about him?
My brother is one of the most God-filled people. He's about to be 20, but in my eyes he's a very strong man. He's not a boy anymore. He knows what he wants in his life. He works twice as hard. He's one of the most amazing men I know in my life besides my dad and my other brothers. He does everything that he can to be the best teammate as possible.
How do you think the Cowboys' season went?
I think their season went very well. I think this year they're going to be a lot better. They have so many guys that are coming in, but I think he's going to do an amazing job. They have him stepping up as more of a leader on the team. I think he's going to do a really good job.
Has he told you a lot about the Bedlam clash of OU and OSU?
He talked to me about it once, but he really focuses on him and his team. He knows that he has to focus on him getting better.
Has he been able to watch any of your games? Has he come out to Tennessee and seen you play?
He hasn't come out to Tennessee, but he has watched every game on TV. After every game, he'll sit there and he'll text me or he'll post on Instagram, “Watch my sister on so-and-so channel.”
What's it going to be like having him at your game?
It's going to mean a lot. I haven't seen him in forever. He's gotten so big. When I see pictures of him, I'm like, “Oh my god. My brother is huge.” When I see him, it's going to be an amazing feeling.
You're in OU's backyard. Usually at the tournament, Tennessee fans fill up the entire arena. What are you expecting?
I'm expecting a lot. I'm expecting a ton of fans. My whole family is going to be there. I know everyone else is going to have family out there, but our fan base is amazing. I think anywhere we go, it's a home advantage. I think we'll just go out there and do it for them.