Tulsa Shock Guard Struggles With Budke's Death


Saturday, November 19th 2011, 12:56 am
By: News On 6


Betty Lennox said she hasn't fully processed Kurt Budke's death.

"I just can't believe it. I just can't believe it," she said.

"I went to go call his cell phone, just to make sure, and I just got his voice message, so it's very devastating for me."

The Tulsa Shock guard and Oklahoma native has a long history with Budke. He recruited her out of high school, welcoming her onto his team at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas, and into his family.

Lennox's team won the Junior College National Championship that year and she was the MVP of the tournament.

"He taught me pretty much everything I know and encouraged me throughout my professional career. He's been there. He's been there for me."

Lennox said Budke went beyond the playbook. He taught her about the real world, prepared her for any situation he could, and always tried to point her in the right direction.

She credits her crowning moment to his guidance--when she became the sixth overall pick in the 2000 WNBA Draft and the Rookie of the Year.

"He always told me, he said, ‘Betty I knew you could do it all along. Any daughter of mine is capable of being successful.' He literally said that I was one of his daughters."

Lennox called Budke a legend, an amazing coach and the angel she needed to get her to this point.

"A great, positive father-figure role model for every woman, every girl he has coached. He will be greatly missed."