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Super 5 girls basketball: Howe's Jalei Oglesby latest town hero following title run

Howe's Jalei Oglesby is a member of The Oklahoman's Super 5 first team. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]
Howe's Jalei Oglesby is a member of The Oklahoman's Super 5 first team. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]

HOWE — Jalei Oglesby spent her entire life looking at the Gatorade banner featuring Stephanie McGhee’s name.

Oglesby wanted to be better.

She looked at 6-on-6 school records her mom held.

Oglesby again wanted to be better.

For a girl in small-town Oklahoma, her goals were simple: pass those before her and change the program. After four dynamic years as a scorer, there’s little doubt Oglesby did that in eastern Oklahoma.

“All of my family has played ball,” Oglesby said. “I was going after some of the things they did. I always heard stories and how they played ball. They’ve always been an influence on how I played.”

Oglesby led Howe to the Class 2A state championship in March while averaging 29.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. The senior, who has signed with Arkansas Tech, also become one of four players in state history to score more than 2,500 career points and grab more than 1,000 career rebounds.

She is a member of The Oklahoman’s Super 5 team.

“I had goals that I needed to achieve,” Oglesby said.

Shawna Oglesby was quite the basketball player. Then Shawna Suter, she once scored 57 points in a 6-on-6 game at Howe. But after a poor game, nobody would talk to her. Except Homer Oglesby, a boy from Poteau. Years later, they had a daughter named Jalei.

Shawna wanted to make Jalei the best basketball player in the family.

They played catch early. Jalei learned to dribble not long after she could walk.

“It was our goal for her to be a basketball player,” Shawna said. “I’ve had people ask me who is better. I always say my daughter, of course. No doubt.”

Jalei burst onto the scene as an eighth grader when she scored 40 points in a tournament game. She came off the bench her first varsity game as a freshman and scored 25. She was never out of the starting lineup again.

That led to 2,982 career points, which is third all-time on the state’s 5-on-5 scoring list. She finished behind McGhee, a town hero during a 2004 title run.

Oglesby is the latest town hero.

She led a late rally against Dale in the state championship game to bring back the gold ball. Even a month later, she tries to convince herself that really happened.

“It’s definitely always been a dream of mine,” Olgesby said. “Just to be able to do that, I will always look back and be able to say that’s something I achieved. I still don’t believe it’s real. But it is and I’m pretty happy about it.”

Jacob Unruh

Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the... Read more ›