Courtney Paris and Oklahoma: All Class!

Perry ArnoldSenior Analyst IApril 6, 2009

ST. LOUIS - APRIL 05:  Angel MCoughtry #35 of the Louisville Cardinals and Courtney Paris #3 of the Oklahoma Sooners fight for the rebound  during the Womens Final Four Semifinals at the Scottrade Center on April 5, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

In last night's semifinal game the Oklahoma Lady Sooners lost to Louisville.

But during the game and especially after the loss, we saw just how much class the team from Norman, Oklahoma has.

One of the remarkable things to this observer was that during a timeout, at a time when her team had blown a huge lead and were in danger of losing the game, Coach Sherri Coale, met her struggling team with a big smile as they came to the bench.

I for one am tired of seeing the tantrums pitched by these highly paid professional coaches as they rant and rave and scream at these young adults who are playing the game still supposed to be for amateurs.

Coach Coale showed everyone watching the game how it should be coached and her team showed everyone the spirit with which it should be played.

Immediately after the game the cameras picked up Ashley Paris going to her distraught teammate who had missed the last second shot that would have won the game.  Ashley picked her teammate up and hugged her.

Then, as the team was walking off the floor, Ashley's sister, four time All American, Courtney Paris, brought the team together at the corner of the floor where they had just missed the chance to play in the championship game.

Courtney made sure her teammates finished this game the way they had finished every other game in this fabulous season, with a prayer.

Then after bringing her team together one last time Courtney Paris was smothered by an ESPN reporter demanding an interview.

With tears in her eyes, Courtney heard the reporter ask her what was next.

Her reply showed what a remarkable young lady she is, what a wonderful job her parents have done in bringing her up, and what a wonderful job Coach Coale has done to instill the proper priorities in this team.

Courtney could have talked about her upcoming graduation, she could have talked about the WNBA draft.

But when asked what was next her reply was: "We need to thank all those people who have supported us so much over the past four years."

The Oklahoma Lady Sooners lost the game, but they won the hearts of many fans across the country with the spirit in which they played and their understanding that there are still things greater than the game.