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More than a game: OC basketball through the eyes of Luis Lopez

Who’s Who Among Students is a national award that recognizes students who excel in scholastic achievement. At Oklahoma Christian University, 125 students reached the Who’s Who list. In an upper level journalism class, students interviewed 13 names off of the list.

Senior Luis Lopez is leaving behind a legacy of basketball, relationships and faith at Oklahoma Christian University when he graduates in April.

Lopez was a member of the men’s basketball team during his four years at Oklahoma Christian. Lopez is a sports, wellness and recreation management major, who has dedicated his time to working with fellow athletes through basketball, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

Lopez said with the close of his final basketball season, he is now working on building relationships with his teammates and completing school work. He said he is an advocate for spending quality amounts of time with teammates each day.

Before coming to Oklahoma Christian, Lopez played for former Eagle Tondrell Durham at Bishop McGuinness High School. Durham introduced Lopez to his former coach Dan Hays, during his senior year of high school, who told Lopez he had a spot on his roster.

Lopez said he plans to carry his love of basketball on as a coach. According to Lopez, he wants to encourage young players because of the encouragement he received from his coaches.

“After being around basketball for so long, I want to live out the passion I’ve seen in my coaches,” Lopez said. “My goal is to become a basketball coach that will make my inspirations proud.”

Lopez said he enjoys reading and relaxing outside of basketball work outs. He said he has fond memories of his time with the basketball team, including fellow senior John Moon’s 50-point game last season.

“My time at Oklahoma Christian has made a large impact on my life and affected how I look towards my future,” Lopez said. “I attribute the man I have become to my family, mentors and friends that have helped me get this far.”

Q: Is making an impact on people what you strive for?

A: My parents instilled in me from a young age that I needed to follow the golden rule and treat others how you want to be treated, so I try to live that way daily.

Q: Did being on the basketball team help or hinder your academic experience?

A: I think it helped overall. It teaches you to budget your time and work on time management. You must find a good balance between everything and buckle down to work on your studies.

Q: Do you prefer to watch college or professional basketball?

A: I would have to say college. I do love the NBA, I am a big Thunder [fan], but college just has a different feel.

 Q: If you had to attribute your success in life to someone, who would it be?

A: My mom. She instilled so many good things into me from a young age, taught me what hard work is and has always been my biggest fan. It has been a blessing to share this journey with her since I stayed close to home and went to high school near here. She has molded me into the person I am today.

Q: Who do you credit your success to at Oklahoma Christian?

A: My high school coach Tondrell Durham played here under Coach Hays and pushed me to try and come here. He was the one who instilled the passion I have for wanting to coach in me and helped me build a relationship with Coach Hays. Once Coach Hays said I had a spot I signed right there and the combination of him for three years and Coach Cole this year has been a blessing to me.

Q: Who is the one teammate who has pushed you to be your best over the years?

A: Over all for years I would have to say Zach Norris. He is from a basketball family and has truly shown me how to work hard in everything from lifting, conditioning, shooting or off the court. I have learned a ton from him and just seeing his work ethic in everything he does. His consistency in how he works is something I strive to match.

Q: What is the thing you will miss most about Oklahoma Christian once you graduate?

A: Probably just the small community. A lot of people reference it, but it is so true. Everyone is so welcoming. Just the vibe OC gives off is so special.

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