Sooner Nation woke up on Tuesday morning to the devastating news that it had lost one of its own as country music legend, Toby Keith, passed away at the age of 62 after a battle with stomach cancer.
Keith was a regular at OU sporting events, regularly seen on the sidelines at football, basketball, and softball games, taking in the sights and sounds of everything Sooners.
The Oklahoma basketball team paid tribute to Toby on Tuesday night with a moment of silence and a reserved seat for him courtside.
He’d have been proud of the effort that followed, as his Sooners took down No. 21 BYU (16-6, 4-4) in dominant fashion, 82-66, to move to 17-6 (5-5) on the year.
After the game, head basketball coach Porter Moster took the time to honor his friend, whom he’d grown close to over the past three years.
“Today is a tough day for Sooner Nation,” Moser said in his opening statement. “We lost a dear friend in Toby Keith. I heard his songs blaring in the arena. I’ve been here for three years and he became a true friend of mine, him and his family. He is everything you want to be about. He’s Sooner Nation.
“To all of his friends around the country in the music industry, in the sports world, friends in all different things. Today, we raise a glass (Red Solo Cup) to Toby Keith. I wish there was something different than water in this glass right now, because he is a true legend and a true friend to everybody and I just want to say our guys played their hearts out for Toby Keith tonight to get this win. I know he was looking down on us tonight. To everyone who hears this around Sooner Nation, friends all across the country, raise your glass tonight to Toby Keith.”
Moser and the Sooners will host Oklahoma State (10-13, 2-8) on Saturday with a chance to get above .500 in conference play.