Sooner Sharane Campbell's long-term plans include OSU vet school
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Saturday, February 04, 2012
2/04/12 at 6:00 AM
NORMAN - Oklahoma freshman Sharane Campbell will spend the next 3 1/2 years doing her best to torment Oklahoma State. She'll try to beat 'em.
Then she'll join 'em.
"I'll be here for four years, get my undergrad," Campbell said ahead of Saturday's noon Bedlam game in Norman. "Then I'll go there for two. I've always wanted to be a veterinarian."
So she will become one, according to her plan, and that is OSU's gain. But this is only after her college basketball career is complete. That is to OU's advantage.
Campbell has averaged 15 points over her past five games, powering the Sooners to a 4-1 surge in the process. She scored a career-high 23 at Kansas on Tuesday as OU took sole possession of second place in the Big 12 Conference with an overtime win.
"She comes off the bench and makes a big play, it's such a spark. Every team needs that," Sooners guard Whitney Hand said. "She played 36 minutes the other night and never gave that spark up. It was incredible."
OU head coach Sherri Coale first saw that spark when recruiting Campbell out of Star Spencer High School.
"She had explosive speed," Coale said. "She reminded me of LaNeishea Caufield (an early 2000s All-American who remains OU's all-time free throws leader). She had a penchant for getting fouled. Every time I watched her play, she shot 10 or 12 free throws.
"We hadn't really had a kid like that in a while, a kid who goes in, draws fouls and makes things happen."
OSU wanted Campbell just as badly. Cowgirl coaches made that clear when she attended their camp while at Star Spencer. They appeared to have a few aces to play.
"I wanted to be a vet. I loved orange. My dad liked OSU," Campbell said. "I wasn't a die-hard. It was more, 'I can see myself going there.' But it didn't happen."
And why was that?
"I came to one OU game," she said. "I thought I wasn't going to like it at all. But then Coach Coale started talking to me. I was in the locker room while she was talking to the players. I liked the environment. It felt right."
It wasn't anything against Tulsa, Kansas State or any of the other schools that recruited her. It certainly wasn't anything against OSU. Campbell had a soft spot for the Cowgirls, and not just because of their veterinary program.
She played All-State ball with LaShawn Jones, the Putnam City center who signed with OSU. She knew Liz Donohoe, a Class of '11 player from Edmond North who chose the Cowgirls.
Campbell had also gotten to know Miranda Serna, the OSU assistant who died in a plane crash with head coach Kurt Budke on Nov. 17. She cried with many others when the Sooners attended the memorial in Stillwater.
"She's a passionate, emotional girl," Hand said.
One day, Campbell will apply those traits to her career. It should make her a natural vet school student at OSU.
Right now, though, she is most passionate about basketball. Her heart, and skills, belong to OU.
"I talk to my mom and I tell her, 'Mom, I'm doing well. I'm playing as a freshman. I'm scoring,' " Campbell said. "I've been here a couple months, and I'm still shocked I'm having this effect. It's going great."
Oklahoma State (12-6, 4-5 Big 12)
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Oklahoma (14-6, 6-3 Big 12)
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*assists per game
OSU at OU
Lloyd Noble Center
Radio: KTBZ am1430
Original Print Headline: Focused Freshman
Guerin Emig 918-581-8355
Freshman forward Sharane Campbell and her OU teammates face OSU on Saturday. Campbell plans to pursue her goal of becoming a veterinarian by attending graduate school at OSU. STEVE SISNEY / The Oklahoman
OU's Sharane Campbell tries to control the ball in front of a Texas defender last month at the Lloyd Noble Center. NATE BILLINGS / The Oklahoman