Michelle Workman is still around basketball while devoting the majority of her time to the ministry.
July 14, 2007
NORMAN, Okla. -- The Mission Statement of the University of Oklahoma Athletics Department includes the well known credo, "Inspiring champions today and preparing leaders for tomorrow."
When your team racks up 21 straight semesters with a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or better, you are certainly preparing your student athletes for life away from the court.
That has been the case under OU women's basketball head coach Sherri Coale during her 11-year tenure. The former English teacher, with continual assistance from OU's award winning academic services department, has always emphasized the books on the same level as the basketballs.
"One of my favorite parts of gameday is seeing our former players," said Coale. "I love to share our success with them and feel their excitement for our program.
"But that pales in comparison to the pride I have in their personal successes. We have so many former players who are doing tremendous things in the community and too many times their public story ends on the sports page when they leave the basketball arena. These ladies should be celebrated for the first class ambassadors of this institution and state that they have become."
With those success stories in mind, SoonerSports.com is beginning a summer feature series that will bring to light the professional ventures of several former Sooner stars:
Players with, "unwavering work ethics," become instant fan favorites and that was certainly the case for Michele Workman during her Sooner basketball career from 1996-99.
A proficient 3-point shooter, she was OU's third leading scorer her junior year. She was also named to the Academic All-Big 12 first team in 1996-97 and 1997-98.
After graduating in 2001 with a degree in Spanish, Workman planned to continue playing, however a broken leg forced her to take a year off before continuing her career. In 2001 she moved to Austin, Texas where she played a year of ball for the Austin Lady Cyclones.
While in Austin, Workman kept busy playing ball, working to keep afloat and beginning her career in full-time ministry with the group Champions for Christ.
It was during this time that she was given the chance to go overseas to teach camps and clinics while sharing her faith with the children abroad. While overseas, Work realized that she wanted to use basketball as her platform in full-time ministry.
In August of 2003, Workman's career in Austin came to an end and she relocated to Carmel, Indiana to be a part of a church planting group.
After working with the church for two years, a new door opened for Workman when Ed Schilling invited her to join the staff of his Championship Academy as the Director of the Women's division in November, 2005.
The Championship Academy is a place that trains athletes from fourth grade all the way to the pro-level, helping to hone their fundamental skills.
"I can thank Sherri Coale for this opportunity," said Workman. "She is the person that gave me all my fundamentals. She is so good at that."
This past June, Workman transitioned out of her position at the Academy as her heart pulled her back to full-time ministry.
"The Academy is a great place, but I felt like it was time to step out and pursue my calling in the ministry," said Workman.
Using basketball as a platform, Workman hopes to start a ministry of teaching camps and clinics, in the US and abroad, while sharing her faith and making a positive impact on society.
Currently Workman is working with others to make her passion come true.
"If I can just touch one kid, somewhere, then it is worth it," said Workman.
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