Basketball Champ Misty Oliver Looks Back on Memorable Seasons
Misty Oliver, a member the Kokomo High School girls basketball state champion teams during the 1991 and 1992 seasons, says she will never forget those years.
“1991 and 1992 were some of the best years of my life,” Oliver says. “The team we had was so special. The amount of talent we had was unheard of. There were multiple Division I scholarship recipients.”
Four out of the five starters on the team were 1,000-point scorers.
“The talent was deep,” Oliver says. “The community really got behind us and supported us no matter where we were playing. During those two seasons our fans would outnumber the home team’s fans. No matter where we went, the fans went too.”
The sectional games eventually had to be moved to Memorial Gymnasium.
“The school that hosted it didn’t have enough seats for our fans,” Oliver says. “Our fans packed Fort Wayne Coliseum. They packed Market Square Arena. Then when we won our state championships, they packed Memorial Gym in the middle of the night when we got back in town.”
Oliver still remembers fans wearing their hot-pink shirts.
“When you walked into the gym, you always knew who was cheering for the Lady Wildkats,” Oliver says. “I love the impact we had on the youth. We had so many little girls that looked up to us. They wanted to be us. They mimicked us. We created a love in their hearts for the game of basketball, just like what we had in our hearts. Nothing speaks more to this than the state championship that was won 11 years later in 2003. Those were the little girls that were on our sidelines.”
Oliver still cherishes all the special memories.
“My memories of those years are priceless,” Oliver says. “From friendships to competitiveness that was unmatched. We were a unique group of kids that had one goal – to win every time we stepped on the court. Everyone had a role on our team and everyone played their role perfectly. We had so many milestones we passed as a team. We were number-one in the state, and we eventually grew to number-one in the nation. That is a feat not many players can claim. We had a target on our backs and it never phased us. We just wanted to play ball and win.”
People still stop Misty Oliver, who now works at Stellantis, to talk about the games.
“It’s still brought up a lot,” she says. “It was an amazing memory, for not only the players but everyone else that was involved. I am forever grateful for the support we have received, when we were playing and to this day. I will always be proud to be a Lady Wildkat.”