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Cheryl Cook Helped Build Bearcat Foundation

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News that has happened since we all toddled back from New Orleans..

Hope you have read on the gobearcats.com rotation the release about Cheryl Cook being inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame this spring. Big stuff, in basketball-mad Indiana. You can read her stats and accolades in the news release, but let me tell you a little about how I got to know "Cookie."

Back in the early 1980s, I was a news anchor at Channel 9 in Cincinnati, and I remember (Coach Sandy Smith, you may need to refresh my memory) that UC was the host school for a four-team holiday tournament for women's basketball. UC asked four of us female anchors in town (we were still a rare breed in the '80s) to come in as honorary coaches for each team, and I ended up as the honorary coach for the Lady Bearcats, as they were called then.

One of the players on that team was Cheryl Cook. Honestly, I didn't know a lot about the team before I became its 'assistant' coach, but "Cookie" was one of the players who welcomed me in, understood that it was a good p.r. move and went out of her way to chat up the program and the players.

She was gracious, she was appreciative of the opportunity to play college ball, and she was funny. I do remember that she always seemed to have a smile on her face as she truly enjoyed the game. And I remember that she was good. She was a sharpshooter, she was aggressive and played both ends of the court. She probably was 10 years ahead of her time in the game of basketball, and she was fun to watch. 

Of course, back then, her only option to continue playing after college was to go overseas, which she did, before she returned to Ohio to work. But her accomplishments at UC, and now at Indianapolis Washington High School, won't be forgotten, and her contributions to the game of basketball certainly serve as a foundation on which UC women's basketball continues to build.

Congratulations, Cookie, on your award, and all you've done for basketball.

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