I have tears streaming down my face as I write this post so please bear with me.
By now you all have heard of the tragic plane crash that took the lives of OSU Women’s basketball coach and assistant coach.
I had the great honor of knowing these people.
I met Coach Budke years ago at Trinity Valley Community College. I attended many basketball games that he coached. I loved basketball. I loved watching the game and I loved watching him coach. His knowledge of the game was unmatchable. His confidence in his girls and in his team was nothing I had ever witnessed before. His will and determination to see those girls succeed is what drove him each and every day. He had a deep love for the game. I was fortunate enough to attend one of his basketball camps at TVCC when I was younger. He treated us campers just like his players. He made us feel like apart of the team. He showed us knowledge, confidence, will, determination, and most importantly love. He not only taught me basketball skills but he taught me life skills as well .He helped teach me to have confidence in myself not only as a player but as a person. He taught me to share myself, my knowledge with anyone and everyone.
I also had the privillage to play basketball under Miranda Serna’s coaching. It was just a summer basketball league but it was one of the most memoriable summers ever. Miranda, seeing herself in me, took me under her wing immediately. She taught me everything she knew about the game. She would spend hours practicing with me, pushing me to do my best. It is her character off the court however that I will rmember most. Miranda was more than just a coach to me. She was my friend. A real genuine friend. I may have just been a high school kid, but she cared about me and she treated me like anyone else. Miranda took me to my first professional basketball game, a WNBA game. She told me she saw real potential in me and that I could one day be just as good as the pros we watched. I just wish I had seen the potential she saw. She believed in me when I didnt, when no one else did. Miranda saw the best in everyone and she wanted to make sure you knew it and that you shared it with the world. She was a true role model to so many others, being the first in her family to go to college and following her dream. She taught me that if you push yourself hard enough for what you love that you can go anywhere. Just like she did. Miranda wanted nothing more than to coach basketball. She coached with a love for the game that I have never seen before.
I will never forget the time I spent with her. The friendship we had. The things she taught me. I will carry her with me forever. Even as we lost touch over the year, I thought of her often. Almost daily. Back when high school friendships seemed to be taboo and never lasting, she was real with me. A true friend. She may be gone but she will NEVER be forgotten.
My love and prayers go out to Coach Budke and Miranda’s family.
Your loss is felt by so many but know this: They touched so many lives and made it a better place.
Rest in Peace my friends.