Stillwater News Press

Local News

August 5, 2012

Oklahoma State University fans meet their favorite student-athletes

STILLWATER, Okla. — If football doesn’t work out, Oklahoma State University wide receiver Isaiah Anderson may have found his dream job — as a magician.

“Can you go to school for that?” Anderson asked fellow wide receiver Tracy Moore while watching a magic show during Oklahoma State’s Fan Day Saturday in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

“He put on a pretty good show for us,” Anderson said. “I think I’d be pretty good at magic once I got the hang of it. If football doesn’t work out, I think I might try to be a magician.”

As Moore and Anderson sat in awe of the magic show next to them, the real magic of the upcoming football and soccer seasons filled the air. Thousands of fans waited their turn just to catch a glimpse of Mike Gundy, Wes Lunt or even Quinn Sharp.

“Quinn Sharp and Wes Lunt are my favorites,” said Stillwater native Brant Keeton, 13. “It’s awesome to see how they perform and what they do. I get real excited and I get butterflies in my stomach when I see them.”

For Keeton, Saturday’s Fan Day was even more special for another reason. Keeton had been ill and unable to get outside for the last six months, but nothing was going to keep him from meeting the Cowboy football team and the Cowgirl soccer team.

“It’s been real exciting,” Keeton said. “It makes me feel like I’m a part of something. I haven’t been a part of anything for a long time.”

It’s moments like that which make the long lines and the cramped hands all worth it.

“We try to entertain the fans as much as possible because I know they’ve been waiting in line for a long time,” Moore said. “It’s definitely really good. It’s a good feeling — it feels like you’re giving back to those people you see in the stands everyday.

“Some of them you recognize, some are just an orange spot in the crowd. But you get to see them and meet them face to face and actually have a conversation with them.”

Tulsa native Nathan Paul said he first came to the event several years ago because his son wanted to meet the new quarterback of the Cowboys — Brandon Weeden. Now he’s a regular at events like the one Saturday Gallagher-Iba Arena.

“I said, ‘This is Brandon Weeden, the guy down on the field,’ and he’s been glued ever since,” Paul said. “Gundy was one person I looked forward to meeting and then Wes Lunt. I wanted to get to meet him.

“It’s just kind of neat that they can come down on a personal level and interact with the fans, I think that’s kind of nice. Not everybody gets to do that.”

From the high-fives to getting some insight on the upcoming season, few walked out of Gallagher-Iba Arena without a smile on their face.

“I absolutely love it,” Oklahoma State defensive end Cooper Bassett said. “I just love talking to the people.

“When I was a kid, I remember going to stuff like this. It always made my day to get an autograph from my favorite players and guys I looked up to,” Bassett said. “Now that some of these kids look up to me, I just try to think back to what it was like to be their age and what days like this meant to me.”

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