NORMAN — Colton Coale can be spotted in the same area every home basketball game. Whenever the University of Oklahoma women’s basketball team plays, he is situated six rows behind the home bench, watching with the rest of the Sooner fans.
However, unlike the hundreds that fill Lloyd Noble Center, Colton Coale has special insight into exactly what the Sooners are doing on the court. Not just because his mother is the head coach, but because he’s part of “The Fellas” — seven male practice players the Sooners bring in to run the scout team.
“I really enjoy it,” Colton Coale said. “Through her, I’ve developed a relationship with all the girls and it’s cool. It’s a form of hanging out with them. Just getting to know them at practice every day. It’s fun.”
Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale has had male practice players since she started coaching at OU 15 years ago. But she admits this year is special.
“Having my son around has been a nice bridge,” Coale said. “Obviously, he doesn’t live in my home anymore. And, so, at least I get to see him at practice every day. Obviously, not a lot of opportunities for lengthy conversation, but it’s nice to be able to go into practice and see him and have that interaction.”
Colton graduated from Norman High School in the spring. After a solid prep basketball career with the Tigers, he wanted to play college ball. But he also wanted to attend OU.
Colton had a decision to make.
“He loves to play and he loved to play in high school,” Sherri Coale said. “He had some opportunities to play at smaller schools in college. But he loves the University of Oklahoma and wanted to be here. So this sort of gives him the opportunity to continue doing the thing he loves to do, while going to the institution he wanted to. Ultimately he wants to coach. So it’s great exposure for him.”