NORMAN, Okla. (Norman Transcript) -- University of Oklahoma basketball coach Sherri Coale added an authentic dimension to last Friday’s “Day of Caring,” the volunteer work effort sponsored by the United Way of Norman.
Coale and members of her OU basketball squad gathered at Andrews Park for the Day of Caring kickoff, and Coale struck up a friendship with Aubrie Kerr, a service recipient of ABLE and one of the OU women’s team’s biggest fans.
“Aubrie is a tremendous fan of Sherri Coale and they had the opportunity to spend a very special moment together,” said ABLE Executive Director Kathy Young. “Coach Coale was particularly intrigued by Aubrie’s ability to rattle off a wide range of team and season statistics.”
Kerr, 23, was born and raised in Norman, and graduated from Norman North High School in 2002.
In 2003, Kerr joined ABLE Able Bodies Learning to Excel which operates four group homes and a daily living support home in Norman. A United Way agency, ABLE for the past 24 years has endeavored to expand housing, training and employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities.
Besides laboring on ABLE’s mobile work crew and performing contract work for the state, Kerr “loves OU women’s basketball and thinks Sherri Coale is the greatest woman on the face of the earth,” Young said.
Coale autographed Kerr’s Sooner Magazine and invited her to her OU office to hang out with her and All-American sophomore Courtney Paris.
The invitation became official last week, when Young and Kerr received a letter from Guy C. Austin, director of OU women’s basketball operations:
“You and Aubrie are invited to the Oklahoma Women’s Basketball offices on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at noon. Our staff will have sandwiches prepared for lunch. Courtney will be present after class to visit with Aubrie. Practice will start at 1 p.m. and both of you may watch...”
Young said Kerr plans on taking along her boyfriend, Chuck Percival.
“Chuck is also a friend of ABLE. They have been best friends since 2003. He’s in a wheelchair, and will have his caretaker along. Aubrie will tell you, That’s my man.’”
Young said Coale’s actions made this year’s Day of Caring a memorable one.
“It was extraordinarily touching. Sherri Coale is a genuine, warm, loving, caring person. She is every bit the personality one sees on television. She is truly a fabulous representation for the University of Oklahoma.
“It was so cool getting those two to meet. They just hit it off, and it’s such a genuine fit,” she said.
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By Tom Blakey
Norman Transcript Staff Writer