The entire Oklahoma State University men's basketball team will be wearing the number "10" on their jerseys Wednesday evening when they take on Baylor University in Stillwater.
The 8 p.m. game comes 15 years since the plane crash that killed 10 members of the OSU basketball team, coaches, and support staff.
The plane went down January 27, 2001 in Colorado after the pilot became disoriented. Basketball players Nate Fleming and Daniel Lawson were killed, along with TV and radio engineer Kendall Durfey, pilot Bjorn Fahlstrom, media relations coordinator Will Hancock, athletic trainer Brian Luinstra, pilot Denver Mills, OSU director of basketball operations Pat Noyes, KWTV-TV sports director Bill Teegins, and student assistant Jared Weiberg.
The school says the jerseys the team will wear Wednesday night feature script lettering like the team’s uniforms in 2001. Members of of Oklahoma State's current squad were just children at the time of the tragedy, but The Oklahoman's John Helsley reports it still influences the Cowboy program:
“Every day you walk by, it's right by our academic center,” OSU junior Leyton Hammonds said. “I tend to take a look and say a quick prayer.
“Honestly, every time I walk by I think about the loved ones and the basketball members and the people who were on the plane and died. I take a little moment of silence every time I walk by.”
There's a Travis Ford influence in that. The Cowboys coach might have joined the program seven years after the crash, yet he quickly recognized how the event shaped reshaped the fabric of the university and its community. And Ford considers it imperative that his Cowboys understand the significance of the crash, both then and now and going forward.
Former basketball coach Eddie Sutton, who led the program in 2001, will attend the game, along with former players, alumni, and family members. The lobby of Gallagher-Iba Arena, which features a memorial to the 2001 crash, along with the 2011 plane crash that killed head women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna, along with pilots Olin and Paula Branstetter, will be open through the day for visitors to pay their respects.
At 6:37 p.m., the moment the plane crashed as it returned from Boulder, the Carillion bells at the OSU library will ring 10 times to honor the victims. A moment of silence will precede the tipoff.