Claremore Daily Progress


April 8, 2014

‘Path to Victory’

All-American shooter reaches ‘Summitt’ at ORU

CLAREMORE — God works in mysterious ways ... and answers prayers when we least expect it.

For Adair native Kevi (Luper) Zufall, her teenage dream was to play college basketball for the Tennessee Lady Vols and then go on to the WNBA.

God’s calling — though — was for her to attend Oral Roberts University, have an All-American career in the Summit League and marry Golden Eagle baseball player Tim Zufall.

“When God speaks, he speaks loud and His plan (all along) was for me to go to ORU,” Luper-Zufall said.

Though she never donned the Lady Vols jersey and learned from Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, Luper-Zufall did take a shot inside Tennessee’s historic gymnasium as an ORU senior shooting guard.

It was during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament that Luper-Zufall and her ORU teammates faced the traditionally-rich Lady Vols on their homecourt with Summitt looking on from behind the bench.

In her final collegiate game, Luper-Zufall scored a game-high 20 points against Tennessee.

Some would say that Adair’s ‘Blonde Bomber’ had reached her ‘Summitt’ that night in Knoxville.

But, her faith in God and His plan was leading her down a different path — one that would involve a future with 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher Tim Zufall and a successful future in the business world at RCB Bank in Claremore.

Every morning, Luper-Zufall seeks God’s wisdom through prayer and scripture, living her life according to Proverbs 17:22.

... “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Luper-Zufall acknowledged that was her favorite verse, and one that helped her throughout her four-year career inside the Mabee Center on the ORU campus.

Raised in a Christian home, where both her parents Kevin and Jamee displayed an upbringing that helped shape their daughter into an exceptional role model on and off the court, Luper-Zufall exemplified the ‘heart of a champion’ in more ways than one on the hardwood.

Throughout her basketball career, Luper-Zufall has broken records for her offensive scoring as well as her defensive tenacity.

She has led Adair and ORU to district, state and conference titles.

And, most of all, she’s believed strongly in being a true ‘team player’.

Whether she’s on the court knocking down jump shots, helping a customer get a loan at RCB or offering encouragement and love toward her husband, Tim, Luper-Zufall is  following God’s lead through Philippians 4:13.

Luper-Zufall can do all things through Christ, and she does it with a compassionate heart.

“I owe a lot to my parents for their support over the years, as well as teaching and showing me the right way to live my life,” Luper-Zufall said.

Also, Luper-Zufall credited former ORU women’s basketball coach Jerry Finkbeiner for taking a chance on a small-town gym-rat that had to overcome several injuries early in her playing career.

“Coach Fink was a great person that pushed me to be a better player on a daily basis,” Luper-Zufall said.

Finkbeiner’s ability to get the best out of Luper-Zufall helped take ORU women’s basketball to a higher level in the Summit League.

As a sophomore, Luper-Zufall became the first player in NCAA Division I to lead the nation in points and steals. She was also a three-time Summit League Player of the Year, as well as the Southland Conference Player of the Year.

The pinnacle of Luper-Zufall’s basketball career, though, began early on during H-O-R-S-E games against her brothers, Blaine and Christian, on a blacktop driveway in the small-town of Adair.

And, through it all, following God’s call helped her reach her ‘Summitt’ at ORU.

Text Only
  • DSC_0344web.jpg ‘Lucky 7’ comes through in the 3rd

    Over the course of his four-year baseball career at Verdigris High School, third baseman Ryan Skalnik has had his share of memorable at-bats.
    None more important than Tuesday’s appearance in the Large School East-West All-State Game at J.L. Johnson Stadium in Tulsa.
    Skalnik, who was the lone senior this season for Verdigris and a four-time Class 3A state champion, thrived under pressure in the top of the third inning for the East.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • BASEBALL: Larue, Skalnik power East to 3-0 victory

    The East blanked the West 3-0 in the Large School All-State Baseball Game Tuesday night at J. L. Johnson Stadium on the campus of Oral Roberts University.
    Claremore catcher Matt Whatley and third baseman Ryan Skalnik of Verdigris represented Rogers County in the contest.
    Skalnik finished 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI's.  Whatley was 0-for-1 with a walk.

    July 30, 2014

  • FISHFRYweb.jpg Claremore QB Club holds Fish Fry Aug. 2

    The Claremore Zebra Quarterback Club will hold its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Claremore High School cafeteria.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooners introduce mobile ticket delivery

    Sooners fans can now choose mobile delivery of their tickets for University of Oklahoma Athletics events. This new option for 2014 allows fans to present their mobile tickets on their smartphones at the entrance of OU Athletics facilities.

    August 1, 2014

  • Rick Cooper 'perfect AD hire' for Wayland Baptist

    Some of the best years of Rick Cooper's life were spent at Wayland Baptist University and in Plainview. Now, he's back for more.
    Cooper, who played and coached basketball at Wayland for 15 years before spending the last 20 years as head men's basketball coach at West Texas A&M University, is the new director of athletics at his alma mater.

    August 1, 2014

  • OCU's Abbott tabbed SAC Athletic Director of the Year

    Jim Abbott of Oklahoma City University has been selected Sooner Athletic Conference athletic director of the year.

    August 1, 2014

  • Matthews named Southwestern Christian women's basketball coach

    Darrick Matthews has been named head women's basketball coach at Southwestern Christian University.
    Matthews previously served as a men's basketball assistant and junior varsity coach at Southwestern Christian. Matthews also serves as a professor of sports management at SCU.

    August 1, 2014

  • Sooner Athletic Conference names new information director

    Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) Commissioner John Hudson has announced that veteran sports information director Justin Tinder will serve as the new media Information director for the 10-member NAIA conference.

    August 1, 2014

  • Ex-Hog standout Scotty Thurman joins Razorback Sports Network

    Former Arkansas Razorback Scotty Thurman is joining the Razorback Sports Network as a color analyst for Arkansas men's basketball games this season.

    August 1, 2014

  • WNBA: Hayes sparks Dream past Shock, 85-75

    Tiffany Hayes scored a career-high 27 points, Angel McCoughtry added 21 and Erika DeSouza had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Atlanta Dream to a 85-75 victory over Tulsa on Thursday night.

    August 1, 2014