Wreaths and arrangements of orange and white flowers were scattered around the bronze kneeling cowboy statue in the Memorial Lobby.
Before the Oklahoma State men’s basketball team faced Kansas, many people lingered near the memorial for a few minutes before heading to their seats. Some signed a guestbook or took photographs of the poignant scene. Others looked on, paying silent homage to the individuals whose images and names adorn the wall behind the statue.
Although the Jayhawks defeated the Cowboys 65-50 on Monday night, the people in Gallagher-Iba Arena were focused on more than the game’s outcome. Monday marked the 19th anniversary of the day 10 members of the OSU community died in an airplane crash in Colorado.
At each annual “Remember the Ten” basketball game, the Cowboys honor the lives of those men: Kendall Durfey, Bjorn Fahlstrom, Nate Fleming, Will Hancock, Daniel Lawson, Brian Luinstra, Denver Mills, Pat Noyes, Bill Teegins and Jared Weiberg.
Mike Boynton said he told their families that remembering the 10 is one of his most important duties as OSU’s coach. The Cowboys wore vivid orange “Remember the Ten” warmup shirts, and Boynton had a pin with the logo on his suit jacket.
“The people in our program are what matter the most,” Boynton said. “And none matter more than the families of the people who lost their lives.”
Greg and Kathi Shamburg, Enid residents, stopped at the memorial soon before the game started. For them, it brings back memories of Jared Weiberg, who was a Cowboy student assistant at the time of the crash.
Weiberg had played at Northern Oklahoma College when Greg Shamburg coached as an assistant there, and the Shamburgs said Weiberg was like a family member to them. Since then, they have gone to some Remember the Ten games and the Remember the Ten Run in his honor.
“It’s been 19 years, and it doesn’t seem like it has changed much,” Greg Shamburg said. “...Seems like about two or three years ago still.”
Kansas coach Bill Self, who graduated from OSU, said he made sure his players saw the memorial, and he talked to them about why it stands in Gallagher-Iba Arena. Garrett Luinstra, a former Jayhawk, is the son of Brian Luinstra, who had been a Cowboy basketball trainer.
Nineteen years after the crash, OSU maintains its commitment to preserving the legacies of the 10 men, and Monday night reflected that. Public address announcer Larry Reece read the names of the men as their photographs appeared on the big screen. Students received scholarships in the names of Pat Noyes, Will Hancock and Nate Fleming. Their family members attended the game and joined the students on the court when they were recognized for their awards, and fans and alumni showed their respect when they visited the memorial.
“Every time I come down and see the pictures and the flowers, (it) brings it all back, and I get emotional,” Kathi Shamburg said. “But (I) just know that they’ll never be forgotten, they left their mark.”