Stillwater News Press

Sports

July 24, 2012

Stillwater High School girls basketball coach to coach in all-state game

STILLWATER, Okla. — Stillwater High School girls basketball coach Carl Treat had been looking forward to Wednesday ever since the season ended. As coach of the Large East team in the Oklahoma Coaches Association’s All-State Game, Treat was supposed to coach LaNesha Middleton for the last time at the Mabee Center on the Oral Roberts University campus in Tulsa.

Then both Middleton and Treat realized there are some things more important than an exhibition basketball game.

“It would have been nice, but she’s missing it for a good reason,” Treat said. “She’s enrolled at Stephen F. Austin and she can’t afford to miss a couple days of class just for the game.”

Treat said that it isn’t going to be the same without her on the court, but he isn’t surprised by Middleton’s decision to forego the game for her education.

“That just shows she’s the same responsible person I know she is,” Treat said. “She knows that going to class is going to benefit her more in the long run than playing in the game. In my mind, it’s a good decision on her part.”

Even though Middleton won’t be a part of the all-state festivities, Treat said just being selected to the team is an honor.

“This is a good way for anybody to end their season,” Treat said. “When she was selected, I was happy for her. She achieved her goal and after I learned that I was the coach, I was really looking forward to coaching her one last time.”

Now Treat will be the lone Stillwater representative on the floor. Still, that won’t keep him from enjoying it.

“When I first started coaching, I remember that I always wanted to coach in the All-State game,” Treat said. “You know, you only get one chance to do it in your career. Now that I’m able to do it at this stage in my career it means a lot. For one, it means I’ve been doing it a while. It’s just a very humbling experience, and I’m honored that my fellow coaches thought enough of me to name me the all-state coach.”

Treat has spent the last week interacting with those players that are on the team and said that the experience has been an enlightening one.

“We’ve had a really good week of practice,” Treat said. “I’ve met some new kids and got to see some players I haven’t seen play before. It’s just been a really fun week.”

It may not have been as much fun without Middleton, but Treat says that even without his star he’s still planning on winning the game.

“We’re going to take the kids we got and play as well as we can,” Treat said. “This game is a lot of fun — as it’s supposed to be — but once those girls get a basketball in their hands, they want to compete. Each time they step on the floor, they want to win. And when you have a bunch of players like that, it makes my job as coach pretty easy.”

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