State basketball tournament a family tradition for Okarche's Grellner family

There were three Grellners in Okarche's starting lineup Thursday. That's not unusual — most of the teams from the past 20 years have featured one of Marion Grellner's children or grandchildren.
by Ryan Aber Published: February 28, 2013

Each has their role.

Kenadey's older sister, Kelsey, played point guard for Okarche, and the sophomore has taken over as the Lady Warriors' floor leader. Rae, a junior, is the team's defensive stopper. Madi is the 3-point shooting specialist.

“Earlier in the year, we said if you put us all together, we'd be one pretty good player,” Rae said.

Individually, though, they go pretty far toward making Okarche a pretty good team.

The Lady Warriors finished as runners-up a season ago and the team that beat them in the championship game — Frontier — was knocked out of the tournament Thursday by Turner.

There is a certain amount of pressure in the family to not only make the tournament but to win while they're there.

“It's a relief once you make it,” Kenadey said. “It's definitely a disappointment if we don't make it. Everybody's made it before so you feel like you've got to live up to that.”

But every trip is still special.

“This is so much fun,” Rae said. “It's the best week of the year. We get treated so well at school this week.”

There will be two more years of Grellners at Okarche, but Kenadey will be the end of a generation.

“She's it,” said Dan Grellner, Madi's father. “Basketball has always been the centerpiece of what we do through the winter.

“Okarche basketball means a lot to our family and a lot to the dedicated people in this whole community.”

by Ryan Aber
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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