Cook commits to Southern Nazarene

Charles Chaney
Cook was one of the best defensive players in Class 4A all season long during her junior season. She should be an immediate asset for the Crimson Storm next season.[Charles Chaney/Butler County Times-Gazette].

Circle’s explosive guard, Kimalee Cook, made her commitment on Tuesday night, announcing her intentions to play basketball at Southern Nazarene for the next four years.

Cook, who is also a state champion sprinter in the 100 and 200-meter, made the decision on Tuesday night on social media.

“I would like to begin by thanking God for all the opportunities given to me and giving me the ability to play the sport I love," Cook said. "I am super excited to annouce my commitment to continue my academic and athletic career at Southern Nazarene University."

The senior was a large reason why the Lady Thunderbirds were ranked in the top five in Class 4A in the 2019-20 season. Cook averaged 15.4 points as a junior on 44 percent shooting from the floor.

Her speed gave her the large advantage on the court as she was one of the top leaders in steals (3.1 per game) in the state, regardless of class. She led her team in free throws made and attemped, while making 33 percent of her three-pointers.

She helped Circle get to the sub-state championship against Buhler, where the Lady T-Birds unfortunately fell. She’s expected to be one of the top players in Class 4A and AVCTL-III.

Southern Nazarene is located in Bethan, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City. SNU, often known as the Crimson Storm, has transitioned to a Division II program over the last few years. When SNU was an NAIA program (such as Friends, Tabor, etc.), they ruled the roost. They won multiple National Championships and were a consistent National Tournament qualifier.

The old school rivalry between SNU and the Oklahoma City University Stars was must see basketball. However, much like the Friends-Newman rivalry, one went Division II and one stayed NAIA.

As they transition to Division II, their talent has improved as they get the commitment from Cook.