Nervous and excited was how McPherson High’s Katelyn Loecker summed up her feelings as she made her choice to play basketball with the Oklahoma State Cowgirls official Wednesday morning.
Loecker will be coming into an Oklahoma State team that was rocked by tragedy at the start of the 2011-2012 season with the tragic deaths of head coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna in a plane crash. An emotional Cowgirl squad rebounded the best way they could by winning the Postseason WNIT national championship in March with a victory over James Madison University.
Loecker said, who verbally committed to OSU last year, said she knew almost immediately she was going to play in Stillwater.
“I just had that feeling in my gut,” Loecker said.
Loecker, a 6-0 forward, gives the Cowgirls a highly decorated three-year starter for the Bullpups, which includes a Class 4A state championship run this past season.
In her junior year, Loecker averaged 16.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.7 steals a game. She also shot 50 percent from the field and 73 percent from the charity stripe.
Loecker has been honored as a player since her freshman year, being named to the AVCTL All-League First Team and the Mid-America Classic All-Tournament team all three years she has played for head coach Chris Strathman.
Her junior year found her as the AVCTL MVP, and was named to the Wichita Eagle and Topeka Capital Journal All-Class for being one of the top five players in the state. Loecker was also selected as the Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year.
Loecker has found herself on the KBBCA First Team in both Class 5A and 4A her sophomore and junior years, respectively, and has been on numerous media lists for All-Area and All-State honors.
This isn’t taking anything away from her volleyball accomplishments, where Loecker helped the Bullpups win the Class 4A championship last month and was subsequently named KVBCA Class 4A Player of the Year, among other commendations.
While Loecker remains focused on the upcoming MHS basketball season, she can’t deny that she’s excited about the future and playing for Oklahoma State.
“It’s what I’ve been working for since I was younger,” Loecker said. “I’m just amazed that it’s finally coming true.”