After being out of coaching for a few years, Carole Carter didn’t know if it was going to happen. TO be chosen into the coaching hall of fame was something she had hoped for, but didn’t know if it would actually take place.

The long time basketball coach finally got the good news when she received a text from her brother last month a text from her nephew informed her she had been chosen to be inducted into the Oklahoma Girls Basketball Coaches association Hall of Fame.

“I had hoped to be inducted at some point in my life,” Carter said. “I grew up watching the best coaches is Oklahoma receive induction to the Hall of Fame. My high School coach Harold Jones was a great coach and many of his friends like Eldon Flynn of McLish, Bill Johnson of Latta and Charles Heatly of Lindsey are all in the hall of fame and are National Coach of the year.

“When I began to play basketball I wanted to make All- State, and naturally as a coach I wanted to work hard enough to be worthy if I was ever nominated.”

The official induction will take place May 31 before the OGBC All-State at Westmoore.

Carter is currently a counselor coach at WMH, where she used to be the head coach. She’s also had stops in Ardmore, Cherokee, El Reno, Ninnekah, Wayne and Norman.

In her 26 years on the bench, Carter amassed a record of 624 wins and 214 losses. She took five teams to the state tournament. Three of those teams made it to the semifinals.

“I didn’t get into coaching to win gold balls, I got into coaching to make a difference in the lives of girls to make them have a sense of inner strength and confidence I knew they would need as adult women,” Carter said. “My Mother didn’t have a chance to do anything like I did so I’m sure a lot of what I have accomplished was to carry the torch for her and make her proud.”

For Carter, the meaning of the hall of fame is more than just about her. It’s an honor for all those who helped her along the way.

“When a person received an award such as this one it is not just for the individual being nominated,” Carter said. “First and foremost it goes to my family who sacrificed hours of quality time. Often, I spent countless hours with school and my teams. When I got home I had already give the best part of me to those two groups. Not that I didn’t love it or wouldn’t do it again. I know my family supported me totally and understood the countless hours away from family functions. My Mother, Dorothy, passed away this December. She and my sister Cecey, fed numerous teams and even housed a few during basketball camps. It goes to the players from all of the schools who made the records listed on the hall of fame plaque.”

In her time as a player and coach, Carter has accomplished much. She says the HOF induction ranks in the top three on her list of career feats.

“I have won two state championship which are special,” Carter said. “To be honest the calls, text and emails from my former players and some of the ladies I played with as a player makes it a long and happy celebration. I will have to say my Westmoore family has really uplifted me in the honor and has made the induction feel like royalty.”

Carter said her career will not be defined by the hall of fame or the wins and losses. Its about the players she has affected along the way.

“The legacy I hope to leave is for all of my players to feel the way I do about the sport of basketball,” Carter said. “That they look back and say because of the path of sport I took it really made a difference in the outcome of my life and how I view my life and the challenges I’m faced with daily. I hope they saw me help people when I didn’t have to and that they will also pay it forward. Watching neighbors and church family pitching in, is how I learned when I was growing up.

“One never knows where influence will come from,” Carter continued. “ My first touch of it was when I was in the fourth grade and while I was in the lunch line I overheard Mrs. Reed say to another lunch lady,” you see that Carter girl, she will be an all-state player when she gets big”. That day the fire was lit.”

Michael Kinney Follow me @eyeamtruth

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