Tahlequah Daily Press

Z_CNHI News Service

December 13, 2013

Sooners join community in support of the Abbott Children's House

Annual Basketball Coaches Luncheon is a learning experience for players

NORMAN — It has become a ritual for Sherri Coale. The Oklahoma women’s basketball coach has made an appearance every year at the annual Basketball Coaches Luncheon, which raises funds for the Mary Abbott Children’s House.

Each year when Coale speaks, she passes on a different message about how important it is to support the Abbott House. This year at the eighth annual Basketball Coaches Luncheon, she used her Sooners as an example to describe the type of strength and perseverance that is shown at the nonprofit every day.

“Right now our team is trying to figure what it means to have a bone-deep belief,” Coale told the crowd at the Embassy Suites. “A bone-deep belief in themselves, a bone-deep belief in one another and a bone-deep belief in the mission of our program. A lot of people have a skin-deep belief. They believe in things when they are going really well.

“It’s easy to believe in Santa when you have a bunch of presents under the tree. The hardest time is when things aren’t going so great. That is when you find out the difference between skin-deep and bone-deep belief.”

“The Mary Abbott House has a bone-deep belief, and this community has a bone-deep belief in the Mary Abbott house,” Coale said. “That’s one of the reasons this is such a great place to live and coach a basketball team.”

Not only did Coale speak at the luncheon, but so did Oklahoma men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger. While he hasn’t been involved as long as Coale with the nonprofit, he already has seen its importance to the community.

“It’s very special,” Kruger said after the luncheon. “The Mary Abbott House does such a great job for young people. No one else does it as well or does it like they do it. It’s an opportunity to come together with other members of the community to support that. It’s very important.”

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