Memorial for OSU 10 gains added significance after Budke, Serna killed

STILLWATER, Okla. - As news spread of the tragic loss suffered by the Oklahoma State University family, mourners flocked to the most visible place of remembrance on the school's campus -- a memorial honoring 10 others who perished in a plane crash more than a decade ago.

On Jan. 27, 2001, 10 members of the OSU men's basketball program were killed when their plane went down shortly after takeoff in Colorado.  The small charter plane carried two players and eight staff members as they returned home from a loss to the Colorado Buffaloes earlier that day.

The memorial was dedicated to the OSU 10 just a few months later.

After more than a decade, the same school has experienced a similar loss.

On Friday, OSU officials announced Kurt Budke, head coach for the women's basketball team, and Assistant Coach Miranda Serna died Thursday in a single-engine plane crash near Perryville, Ark.  Two others, former Oklahoma State Senator Olin Branstetter and his wife, Paula, were also killed.

Now, the memorial has developed an added significance as Budke and Serna are remembered by their OSU family -- and by others showing their support during these tragic times.

The Grambling State University women's basketball team, scheduled to play in Stillwater this weekend, visited the memorial Friday to pay its respects.

University President Burns Hargis says the school is planning a formal memorial service, which will likely take place Monday.

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