On Feb. 23, seven people were inducted into Oklahoma Christian University’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Of those seven, only one represented the female athletics: Lauren Decker.
“It wasn’t something that escaped me, by any means,” Decker said. “To represent the female athlete side for this class, I was very proud to do so. I’ve been told and I’ve counted, it might have been about 15 or so female athletes inducted over the course of this Athletic Hall of Fame honor since 1991, I believe. That was something that was really special to me once I realized that as well.”
Decker played point guard and shooting guard for the Lady Eagles basketball team from 2002 until her graduation in 2006. Almost ten years later, she was informed she would be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“Being inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame was certainly an amazing cap to everything that I experienced when I was at OC,” Decker said. “It was a way for me to honor not just the contributions that I made to those seasons and to the program, certainly a way to honor the people that I played with and the people that I played for, and even the people I played against. It all comes together to create this great four years of my life and certainly something I would do all over again.”
While Decker played for Oklahoma Christian, she was named All-American three times, something only five other female Oklahoma Christian athletes have achieved.
“I can’t say that it was any type of goal that I had for myself going into college athletics and so to be honored once, let alone three times was pretty special for me,” Decker said. “All-American is a huge, huge honor no doubt about it, but being tabbed first team All-American my senior year was really special to me just because I knew that it hadn’t happened very often in OC’s history for women’s basketball.”
Decker achieved an honorable mention during her sophomore year, second team during her junior year and first team during her senior year.
Current basketball player, senior Sydney Hill, said she remembers watching Decker play for Oklahoma Christian when Hill attended games before her time here.
“I unfortunately don’t know much about Lauren, other than that she was a great player,” Hill said. “I was pretty young when she played at OC so all I really remember is watching her play and thinking how good she was.”
Decker was also presented with the Emil S. Liston Award during her junior year, an award proving her academic and athletic ability. Decker is the only Oklahoma Christian Lady Eagle to receive that honor.
“To be considered one of the members of the Athletic Hall of Fame, with so much rich history that OC has, it’s something that I’m still probably wrapping my head around, that they decided to extend that induction to me,” Decker said. “But I am very thankful and very happy and I know it will sink in more and more as the years move on and it will certainly be something I remember for the rest of my life.”