During her time as a Sulphur Lady Bulldogs basketball player, Tierani Richardson always let her actions speak louder than her words on the court.

During her time as a Sulphur Lady Bulldogs basketball player, Tierani Richardson always let her actions speak louder than her words on the court.

She kept the same attitude during her college journey which took her to Murray State College and then to Arkansas Tech University.

Although Richardson’s days on the hardwood have long been over, she’s still using her actions to make an impact on those around her. She just does it now with her words as well. 

Richardson is currently pursuing her masters degree in speech pathology at the OU Health Sciences Center in Norman. 

“I haven’t quite decided what I want to do professionally or where I’ll end up for that matter,” Richardson said. “But I’m going to make the most of everyday and help as many people as I can. I plan on being a light to my patients just as my coaches were a light to me.” 

Many people might remember Richardson as one of the key components on the Sulphur Lady Bulldogs undefeated state championship squad from 2013.

“Playing on the state championship team in Sulphur was one of the best experiences of my life,” Richardson said. “We had so much unity on that squad. We weren’t six different cliques who played together, we were one team. To have been apart of something so special like that was truly a blessing to me and something I’ll cherish forever.” 

Richardson would finish her high school career as an Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State selection as well as a three-time All-Ardmoreite Girls Basketball team selection, a three-time Lake Country Conference All-Conference selection, and was named as the 2010 Offensive Player of the Year on the All-Ardmoreite Girls Basketball team.

She was also named to the 2013 3A State Tournament All-Tournament Team, the 2013 Bertha Teague All-Tournament Team and the 2010 OBU All-Tournament Team. 

“It was such a blessing getting to coach a player like Tierani Richardson,” Sulphur coach Toby Todd said. “People do not realize the countless hours she spent on her shooting. In my 14 seasons as head coach, she still holds the record for highest three point percentage at 43 percent. She came into a very talented team, and her knock down shooting was such an important piece to us going undefeated and winning the state title.”

“Everyone always remembers Tierani for her shooting, but she was also a very competitive defender,” Todd added. “She would sometimes get knocked around, but she’d just get right back up immediately like she wasn’t feeling any pain. One of the most special things I cherish was getting a college paper where T wrote about our perfect season and how it made a huge impact on her life.” 

After graduating, Richardson took her talents to Murray State College in Tishomingo, where she excelled on the court and in the classroom as well. 

During her time at Murray State she was a member of the President’s Scholars Program and was one of three students selected for the prestigious Oklahoma Regent’s Scholarship. She also maintained a 4.0 GPA. 

On the court at MSC, Richardson was just as extraordinary.

She played a total of 32 games for the Lady Aggies, and finished averaging 20.3 points per game while shooting 38 percent from the field, 37.6 percent from the three point line, and 78 percent from the free throw line. She had a total of 648 points her sophomore season (8th in the nation), giving her 1,039 for her career.

Richardson was also named to the 2014 NJCAA National All-Star Team, 2014 All-Conference Team, and a 2014 All-Region selection. 

During her sophomore year she helped lead the Lady Aggies to the Region II Championship which earned her another All-Region honor and the Regional Tournament MVP award. 

Richardson finished her collegiate career at Arkansas Tech, where she was named to the 2016 Great American Conference Winter and Spring All-Academic Team. 

During the 2015-16 season, she scored a season high 15 points against Oklahoma Baptist and averaged 4.6 points per game. 

She was also named as the Class Marshall during her studies at the University of Central Oklahoma. 

“The biggest difference to me between high school and college basketball was the competition,” Richardson said. “There were some nights in high school where we would just play a quarter, but that wasn’t the case in college. It’s just so fun to get to play four quarters and to have some games come down to the final buzzer.”

“It was also really awesome for me to get to play in national tournaments at both Murray State and Arkansas Tech University,” Richardson added. “However, if I’m being completely honest, nothing will ever quite beat getting to play in the state tournament my junior and senior seasons at Sulphur.”

Speaking of the state tournament, this season was the first time since that 2013 state championship squad that Sulphur’s girls basketball team made the last eight. 

Richardson made sure she was kept up to date on all the excitement during the Lady Bulldogs run this past spring.

“I cried when they made the state tournament,” Richardson said. “I was in my apartment listening to the game and my brother and I just yelled and screamed when the buzzer went off. I was instantly taken back to how I felt when I was in high school and I was so proud of the team.”

“Those girls were there for us when we made a run at the state title,” Richardson added. “I knew it was my time and my turn to be their fan in the stands. They are apart of history now and it’s something they will always remember.” 

While she has had plenty of success in her basketball and academic career, Richardson was adamant that none of it would have been remotely possible had it not been for the influence Coach Todd and assistant coach Tracy Eldred. 

“I can’t say enough about Coach Todd and Coach E,” Richardson said. “They’re part of the reason I’m becoming a speech pathologist. I ended up at Sulphur because I wasn’t in a great situation prior. I spent everyday feeling scared, alone, different and I didn’t have anyone to stand up for me.” 

“All of that changed when I got to Sulphur,” Richardson said. “The coaches cared about me and my well being so much. I also had a great group of teammates which helped me to no longer feel like I was alone or scared. I want to continue the legacy that Sulphur instilled in me. I want to be able to be a child’s champion and to help them through everything whether it is a speech, language, swallowing, or cognitive problem. I want to give these kids the same power that was instilled to me by Coach Todd and Coach E.” 

As for the current squad of Lady Bulldogs, the future is bight for the program Richardson once called home. She had plenty of advice for those who still wear the red and white, but it didn’t just pertain to athletics either. 

“I actually have three pieces of advice for the current squad,” Richardson said. “The first would be to enjoy it. There will be a time when basketball is over, but you will always remember the joy you felt playing it. Enjoy your moment to shine and be on top of the world.” 

“The second piece of advice would be to study,” Richardson added. “Don’t be afraid to be a nerd, because at the end of the day an education is something to be proud of. The last piece would be to be a good person. There’s always tiny eyes looking at you, and those kids want to be like you someday, so be someone worth while. Give more to the world than you take, and go make a difference.”