One thing that can be said about Bethany Hall.
She’s the original Lady Rougher on Muskogee’s first attempt at minor league basketball.
Hall played a reserve role on the first of four state tournament teams for Muskogee this decade, coming in 2012. She was recently joined by Kamara Stancle, an all-state standout in the 1990s who later played at Arkansas.
Hall’s route back wasn’t quite as star-studded. She played in the shadow of standouts Alexus Wilson, Kelsey McClure and CoCo Epps, all of whom received Division I or Division II offers — Epps coming in softball.
“It was hard to get in that lineup back at Muskogee, but that was all on me,” she said. “Coach (Doyle) Rowland always told me to go harder and I tried but it was mainly confidence issues with myself.”
Still she wound up with an offer at Erie Community College in upstate New York — a long way from home, but an opportunity.
“It was so cold up there,” she said about Buffalo, N.Y. “But the coaching staff there made me the kind of player I should have been, doing things I didn’t do in Muskogee.”
After school, the basketball itch was scratched playing pick-up games or anywhere she could hook up. She went to her Instagram account asking for opportunities.
It was then a member of the church she attends, Mount Calvary Baptist Church, told her about this opportunity and upcoming tryouts.
“And that’s how it happened,” she said.
She’s been part of a guard rotation so far in a 2-1 campaign that resumes today at 8 when the Oklahoma Warriors take on the Kansas City Stampede at the Civic Center. They play the Killeen Force at noon on Sunday.
“She’s a tough competitor,” said Warriors coach Gena Maxwell. “She started for us in Topeka. She came down wrong and pulled something in her back but played through it.”
Hall is excited for the opportunity she has landed.
“The competition is way different than what I’ve played against,” she said. “It’s pushed me to a higher level.”
That level now brings her an opportunity to play again before the home folk.
“These are teams from big cities and this is Muskogee, and we love sports here,” she said. “Even though the crowds have been small there, I think it’s going to bring out a lot more people here. I’ve heard from people I went to high school with who say they are going to be there, I think most of my church will be there and a lot of my dad’s co-workers. There seems to be a lot more energy around here as far as support. I’m excited about it.”
That’s the vibe Maxwell has felt too.
“I’m hopeful,” she said. “People have stopped me and asked about it, asked about tickets. I know we’ll beat the turnout we’ve seen on the road the past two weekends, I’m sure of that.”
Hall, meanwhile, says she wants to prove something to those that do come.
“I want people to see what I can actually do instead of what I did in 2012,” she said.