JULY 22, 2005

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Litsch inducted into Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame


Southwestern Oklahoma State University Assistant Athletic Director Kelli Litsch (left) was recently inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxsville, Tenn. Others inducted were Kansas scoring champ Lynette Woodard, Seminole Junior College and Oral Roberts coach Dixie Woodall, longtime Louisiana high school coach Edna Tarbutton, Auburn coach Joe Ciampi and Kodak All-American founder Hunter Low. Litsch was a four-time NAIA American and led the Bulldogs to two undefeated seasons and three national championships (1982, 1983, 1985). Her overall record at SWOSU was 129-5 and she remains the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,700 points.

 

Southwestern Oklahoma State University basketball legend Kelli Litsch took her place among the game’s best when she and five others were recently inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.

Along with Litsch, Kansas scoring champ Lynette Woodard, Seminole Junior College and Oral Roberts coach Dixie Woodall, longtime Louisiana high school coach Edna Tarbutton, Auburn coach Joe Ciampi and Kodak All-American founder Hunter Low were honored during a two-day celebration recognizing their contributions to the game. The new additions bring the total of 90 players, coaches and contributors who have received the high honor in the six-year history of the Hall of Fame.

Many of the biggest names in women’s basketball were in attendance during the weekend ceremony including University of Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt and University of Texas head coach Jody Conradt.

Litsch spent much of the time touring the Hall of Fame, autographing basketballs, posing for pictures, re-telling stories and sharing laughs with family and friends. More than two dozen of her supporters were in attendance during the weekend ceremony.

“I can’t think of a greater way to be honored than how the Hall of Fame did it,” Litsch said. “It was extra special that so many of my family and friends were able to attend.”

Litsch said her personal highlights were the storytelling portion of the program Friday night. All of the inductees got to share personal reflections and memories of their playing and or coaching days. The audience was allowed to join in and share some of their recollections as well.

Litsch’s father, Jim, told the story of how when Kelli was playing grade-school basketball for Fay, he was approached by the coach of Thomas who asked if Kelli could join his team at halftime.

“Thomas was having problems with their guards bringing the ball up the court. They were down 0-8 at the half,” Jim Litsch said. “I remember their coach came and said ‘if you let us have Kelli, we’ll win this game."

Litsch had played earlier in the tournament that day for Fay. She went into the locker room and came out in a Thomas uniform and led them to a victory. Litsch went on to wear the Thomas uniform many more times, winning two state high school titles and scoring more than 3,600 points.

She then went to SWOSU where she was a four-time NAIA American and led the Bulldogs to two undefeated seasons and three national championships (1982, 1983, 1985). Her overall record at SWOSU was 129-5 and she remains the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,700 points. She is assistant athletic director at SWOSU.

Contact: Brian Adler, director of public relations and marketing, 405.774.3063