TULSA, Okla. – Playing college basketball had always been a dream for junior guard Keni Jo Lippe and receiving an offer from the ORU women's basketball team made that dream reality.
Lippe is a native from Adair, Oklahoma, where she was a dual-sport athlete in basketball and cross-country and track. She scored a total of 2,304 points in high school and grabbed 588 rebounds. During her junior year, she was nominated to the State Tournament First Team as well as a Vype Top 100 and Elite Eight nominee.
The process began before her junior season in high school where she learned that ORU had shown interest after asking her high school and summer coaches about her. It was the same summer that Lippe had decided to play basketball full-time.
"I always wanted to go to ORU," Lippe said. "It was always in my mind that ORU saw me first and offered me first. They were taking a chance on me first. They saw my hard work paying off. Other teams noticed the same and offered, but ORU was my personal goal."
Being from Adair, Oklahoma, Lippe knew about Oral Roberts because of Golden Eagle All-American, Kevi Luper, also a native of Adair. Lippe looked up to Luper in high school because of her work ethic and knew that her goal could be achieved because of what had been achieved by Luper.
"I felt like I was doing something I was supposed to be doing," Lippe said. "When I got the opportunity to make my dream a reality, it made me feel like it was God leading me."
Being from a small town never discouraged Lippe. Her inspiration and role model had achieved the same goal so she knew it could be done as well. Once she achieved that goal, her first instinct was to give back.
"The biggest thing for me is that even though I come from a small town, it didn't limit my hopes and dreams," Lippe said. "I hope to set an example to younger players to work hard and achieve their goals and dreams as well. It's not impossible.
Now entering her third season as a Golden Eagle, Lippe feels that her and her team are reaching strides and achieving goals that they've set for themselves and collectively. The transition from high school to college was a challenge, but she always felt welcomed and felt like she belonged. From the moment she stepped on campus she felt connected and protected.
"I love this team and place so much." Lippe said. "We genuinely love each other. We've talked about building bridges, trust and we all feel super connected."
The Golden Eagles have big dreams and goals as the season approaches. With about 30 days until the first game, she wants to continue to build an even stronger connection going in to the season with her team and coaches.
"People need to come watch us play because it's greater than basketball and that's what people will see." Lippe said. "We are literally sisters battling together and we will do it the right way that will glorify God and encourage each other."
The ORU women's basketball team tips off the 2019-20 season Tuesday, November 5 at 11 a.m. against Central Christian inside the Mabee Center in the annual Best Field Trip Ever game.
For the latest information on ORU women's basketball, follow @ORUWBB on Twitter or go to www.ORUAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Golden Eagles Front Row App at ORUAthletics.com/frontrow or in the App Store.