Forty-three student-athletes have transferred from colleges all around the world, and the reasons behind each one’s decision are what make ORU’s athletic program unique.
Lakota Beatty, junior on the women’s basketball team, transferred this year in order to play alongside her sister, Ashley, again.
“We’ve been playing together since we were four and six,” she said. “When we’re on the court, I know where she is at all times, and I feel like a different player when I’m with her. It’s better.”
Joanie Jacks, sophomore women’s soccer player, transferred to ORU because of the Christian culture.
“I loved the Christian aspect of it and how the heart and center is focused on God,” said Jacks. “I wasn’t even thinking about playing again.”
Nick Rotola, senior baseball player is in his second year at ORU.
“I left [Eastern Michigan] because I got better,” Rotola said. “My coach also got fired, and I had a really tough decision to make. But, I knew it would be better for my career to come here and play for Coach Folmar and continue to get better in this historical program.”
Obi Emegano, a redshirt-senior who will be joining the men’s basketball team for a fourth year, spoke similarly.
“As I evolved as a player and got older, I started to realize Western [Illinois University] wasn’t the place to help me where I needed to go and where I wanted to be,” he said. “So I decided to transfer and ORU was where I thought I had a chance of getting to the next level.”
ORU is known for having a large population of international students, with 83 countries represented, and the athletics department is no different.
“I think it’s like anything, if you grow up in a place for so long, you feel compelled to get outside and move around,” said Ollie Penn, senior golfer. “I’d been living [in Sydney] for 22 years, and it was long enough. I had a good opportunity to come to ORU and decided to take it. I’m somebody who throws myself into the deep end as often as I can. So that was a big thing, deciding to come to ORU. I had no idea about Tulsa, I had no idea about Oklahoma. I had never even heard of Oklahoma before I came here.”
ORU has a total of 259 student-athletes, 17 percent are transfers and they are all making an impact as each team seeks to earn the Summit League title in their respective sports.