|After so many wins on the court at
Gallagher-Iba Arena, Eddie Sutton's name is now forever associated with
the hardwood floor.
After Sutton passed mentor Henry Iba for seventh
place in career coaching wins with an 83-73 victory over Iowa State
during the 2004-05 season, Oklahoma State officials announced that the
court would be named after the legendary coach.
"It means a great deal," Sutton said. "It is quite an honor."
Joey Graham and Ivan McFarlin each scored 20 points as Sutton won his
768th game to pass Iba, his mentor who coached him during his 36 years
at Oklahoma State.
Iba was present when Sutton was hired at Oklahoma State in 1990, but
died on Jan. 15, 1993 -- exactly 12 years before Sutton would pass him
in career wins.
"Those three years, I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to
really get closer to him," Sutton said. "Mr. Iba was such a wonderful
man, but at times he was pretty private.
"When we'd send those student managers out to get him, he'd come down
to practice and we had great conversations. He certainly gave to me as a
player and then as a graduate assistant. All the things I learned gave
me a very strong foundation as far as a basketball philosophy."
After the game, Oklahoma State officials honored Sutton with a plaque
and made the announcement about Eddie Sutton Court.
Sutton thanked his wife, Patsy, and all the assistant coaches and
players who've helped him in his career at Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky
and the last 15 years at Oklahoma State.
He was also thankful to Iba -- who he still calls "Mr. Iba" -- for
giving him a chance.
"I would never have been able to go to college without a
scholarship," Sutton said. "Mr. Iba gave me a scholarship. My parents
didn't pay my way to go to school.
"I got a quality education here, and these 15 years have kind of been
a way I feel I've repaid a little of what OSU gave to me."
The floor, known affectionately for decades as "Mr. Iba's Court," was
a host to basketball history from its inception. The first basketball
game on the court matched up traditional powers Oklahoma A&M and the
University of Kansas, with legendary coaches Henry Iba and Forrest "Phog"
Allen guiding their teams from the sideline. In its 70 years of service,
Eddie Sutton Court has arguably seen more college basketball icons play
and coach than any other single court in the sport's history. Many of
the coaching philosophies that shaped the game of basketball and
influenced the careers of numerous coaches were first formulated by Mr.
Iba on the fabled white maple.
The court was officially named in Eddie Sutton's honor on January 15,
2005, in a ceremony following Oklahoma State's 83-73 victory over Iowa
State. The win was the 768th of Sutton's career and moved Sutton ahead
of Henry Iba, his mentor who coached him during his 36 years at Oklahoma
Eddie Sutton Court was redesigned in the summer of 2008, after
Oklahoma State officials sought to create a design that's unique to
Oklahoma State while honoring the rich history of Gallagher-Iba Arena.