ENID, Okla. —
One could have turned the clock back about 25 to 30 years Friday while watching the Oklahoma Bible Academy JV-Wichita Warriors consolation game at the OBA Prep Classic Friday at the Chisholm Trail Expo Center Coliseum.
OBA’s Savannah Price stole the ball and laid the ball in for a score, only to be calling for traveling.
Her father, Brent, shouted “Come on’’ to the officials with his hands to his face.
His father, Denny, whose intensity in the stands matched his three sons (Mark, Matt and Brent) on the court, would have been proud.
“On the record, do you think that was a travel?,’’ Brent asked at halftime ... “I didn’t either.’’
But Brent Price was on his best behavior for most of the game.
“I’m a work in progress,’’ he said. “I’m not trying to be better than my dad (a long-time high school, college and NBA coach and scout). I’m trying to be better about not getting on the officials, but I’ve had my moments.’’
He understands now what his parents (Denny and Ann) went through while watching three active boys play basketball.
“It’s a lot different from watching any other game,’’ said Price, who played 10 years in the NBA. “You get a new perspective when it’s your own kid out there.’’
Price said he was never pushed by his parents to play until he showed an interest and passion for the game. He’s tried to do the same thing for his three daughters and son.
“You have to let the child decide what they are passionate about,’’ he said. “My son (William, 11) is starting to get excited about it. A couple of the girls are. Then, I go out and try to help them the best I can.’’
Price’s oldest, daughter, Madison, a sophomore, plays for the OBA varsity. Savannah is a freshman.
Both have enjoyed the team concept and camaraderie of team play, “but they will be the first to tell you that’s not going to be their path to go on and play college basketball.’’
William, though, has Brent’s passion and love for the game.
“He’ll say that’s what my dad did and that’s what I want to do,’’ he said. “He has that fire and passion. It is different dealing with boys than girls.’’
“William looks the most like him (Brent) on the court,’’ said Price’s wife, Marcy, a star tennis player in her own right.
Brent has had a lot of fatherly pride this week. Madison wears her dad’s old number 20. Savannah wears No. 25, the number of Uncle Mark.
“Seeing her wear my number makes me proud,’’ Brent said. “They all tried to wear No. 20 through their Little League days, but in school, you always don’t have control over the number.’’
He proudly said both Savannah and Madison hit 3-pointers on Thursday.
Brent tries first to be supportive of his children. He has mellowed some with age, remembering how intense he got at times when he was coaching them in the YMCA or in the stands.
“I’m trying to work on self-control,’’ he said.
“He is very encouraging,’’ said Marcy Price. “He’s real good with them after a game.’’
Denny Price was a perfectionist with his sons after a game.
“We could play almost a perfect game and he would ask why did you miss that free throw?,’’ Price said. “That was his thing. I try to encourage them and point out a few things they could work on.’’
The Price children are involved in music, with Madison leading praise and worship team at OBA. They play the piano and guitar and sing, although they didn’t have a family singing group like the Price Family Singers.
The oldest two girls might have even more of a passion for volleyball. Madison played a key role on OBA’s state tournament team this fall.
“The girls enjoy that as much as anything,’’ Price said. “I don’t get quite as intense watching volleyball as I do basketball.’’
Bob Dense, Price’s father-in-law, does give Brent high marks as a dad. Dense himself admitted he got a little out of hand at times watching his daughters play tennis.
“He’s pretty calm,’’ Dense said. “I try to learn from him. I got so uptight watching the girls in tennis. I wasn’t as nice as Brent.’’
Marcy, like Ann Price did with Denny, is the calm one.
“I just want to make sure they don’t get hurt,’’ she said.
Price is learning patience. The OBA JV lost 59-19 Friday, but the important thing to dad was his daughter and her young teammates got experience.
“It’s all about getting time on the court and experience,’’ Price said. “These girls haven’t gotten to play until this tournament. They’re doing a lot of good things out there. I didn’t expect them to win in this tournament. It’s all about development and getting better.’’
Denny Price would have been proud.
Campbell is a News & Eagle sports writer.