Berry Tramel
Sports Columnist and Reporter

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist.

Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman, the Oklahoma City Times, the Norman Transcript and the Oklahoma Journal — and entered the newspaper business at the age of 17, with the Transcript in 1978. His first game assignment was the Lexington-Elmore City high school football game, and he has enjoyed the journey ever since, from high school wrestling duals and regional track meets to Orange Bowls and the NBA playoffs.

Tramel was born and raised in Norman, Okla. He and his wife, Tricia, were married in 1980 and live in Norman near their daughter, son-in-law and three granddaughters.


  • Virginia shows OU what Final Four team looks like

    Virginia shows OU what Final Four team looks like

    Updated: 1 day ago

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – Virginia’s Kyle Guy, a straight-out-of-“Hoosiers” Indianapolis kid who is a 45-percent 3-point shooter, missed all 10 of his deep balls. Virginia’s best player, De’Andre Hunter, encountered foul trouble and eventually fouled out. It didn’t matter. It didn’t come close to mattering. The top-seeded Cavaliers dominated Oklahoma 63-51 Sunday night at Colonial Life Arena to reach the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. Virginia looked like a Final Four team. The Cavaliers were just as big as the Sooners and trumped OU in quickness, skill and depth. Particularly depth.

  • OU basketball report card: Not much to grade highly for the Sooners against Virginia

    OU basketball report card: Not much to grade...

    Updated: 1 day ago

    You figured Virginia would be a rugged opponent in the NCAA Tournament, and the Cavaliers most definitely were. They beat OU 63-51 Sunday night in the South Regional quarterfinals, and the grades reflect an uphill performance for the Sooners. Rotations: C. The upgrade in competition showed the dangers of sticking with season-long trends. Lon Kruger inserted backup point guard Aaron Calixte and backup center Matt Freeman with 11:37 left in the first half, forming a lineup that included three reserves. OU led 13-9 at the time, but the Cavaliers went on a 6-0 run in less than three minutes, and the momentum was lost. In the second half, Kruger did the same, sticking with the three-reserve unit for almost four minutes.

  • Christian James and his fellow Oklahoma seniors know they're on the NCAA Tournament's Sunset Boulevard

    Christian James and his fellow Oklahoma seniors...

    Updated: 2 days ago

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — Christian James knows the end is near. And that doesn’t necessarily mean Sunday, when the Oklahoma basketball team plays the vipers from Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. You get the near end of a lot of things — a plate of steak modiga, a beach vacation, a fun career, a long life — and a seriousness settles in. Savor it while you can. Make the most of what’s left. Maybe that’s what happened Friday, when the Sooners routed Ole Miss 95-72 at Colonial Life Arena in a browbeating none of us saw coming but is completely explainable. A senior-dominated team didn’t want the train to reach the station.

  • Virginia's Salt and OU's Freeman go back to New Zealand days, and Salt's sister is a Sooner rower

    Virginia\'s Salt and OU\'s Freeman go back to New...

    Updated: 2 days ago

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — Matt Freeman and Jack Salt grew up a five-minute drive apart and shared a basketball court many a time. They will do again Sunday, only this time 8,277 miles from home. Freeman and Salt grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, teammates on both the high school and club level, and Sunday, they will be opposing centers as Freeman’s Oklahoma plays Salt’s Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. “We’re pretty close,” said Freeman, a fourth-year junior who comes off the bench for OU and is averaging 3.2 points and 11.1 minutes per game. “It’s awesome,” said Salt is a 6-foot-10 senior who has made 106 career starts for Virginia and is averaging 3.4 points and 3.5 rebounds. “We’ve been talking

  • OU basketball: Sooners wipe out a season of frustration with NCAA Tournament trouncing of Ole Miss

    OU basketball: Sooners wipe out a season of...

    Updated: 3 days ago

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — Kristian Doolittle bullied Ole Miss 7-footer Dominik Olejniczak for two straight easy baskets, and Mississippi coach Kermit Davis had seen enough. Eighty seconds into the game, Davis sensed what was coming and called timeout. “It was just so easy for them,” Davis said. “I saw kind of a different look on our team, and I just wanted to … kind of settle our team.” It did no good. OU’s 4-0 lead soon became 12-0. The rout was on, the ninth-seeded Sooners eventually winning 95-72 in the first round of the NCAA’s South Regional, and Mississippi had to be thinking what we all were thinking. Who is this masked team? A season of frustration was washed into the Congaree River.

  • OU report card: Sooners played well in phases in 95-72 rout of Ole Miss

    OU report card: Sooners played well in phases...

    Updated: 3 days ago

    OU’s 95-72 domination of Ole Miss in the NCAA Tournament was so stunning, it’s hard to find anything on which to downgrade the Sooners. Here’s the report card: Starting lineup: A. The Sooner starters played 11:35 together. During those times, OU outscored Ole Miss 36-20 and made 14 of 19 shots. The five starters played superbly individually as well. Rashard Odomes (20 points), Christian James (20), Kristian Doolittle (19 points, 15 rebounds) and Brady Manek (18 points) combined to make 28 of 41 shots. Ball security: A. The Sooners had 67 possessions and committed only three turnovers before taking a humanitarian shot-clock violation with 3.7 seconds left in the game. Ole Miss had only one steal and was outscored 15-6 in

  • OU basketball: Kristian Doolittle's father uses an outrageous jacket to let the Sooners know they are supported

    OU basketball: Kristian Doolittle\'s father uses...

    By Berry Tramel
    Sports columnist btramel@oklahoman.com |
    Updated: 4 days ago

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — When the University of Oklahoma basketball players and coaches, or even their families, see Dwayne Doolittle on the road, they want to know one thing. “Where’s the jacket? Where’s the jacket.” Never fear. The gaudy, outrageous, partisan, crimson and cream sports coat is always packed and waiting to be worn. And Doolittle will be wearing the jacket Friday when the Sooners play the University of Mississippi in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Colonial Life Arena. Yes, Doolittle absolutely is trying to be seen with the Walmart jacket made famous by Billy Sims at Heisman Trophy ceremonies. But Doolittle isn’t trying to be seen by the masses.

  • OU basketball team meets iconic announcing crew Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery & Grant Hill

    OU basketball team meets iconic announcing crew...

    Updated: 4 days ago

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – Three men, all of different generations, one of them twice as old as any Sooner player, another more than thrice as old, joined the OU basketball team in a huddle before practice Thursday at Colonial Life Arena. Call it a snapshot of the NCAA Tournament. The fresh-start feeling of not just teams, but players. Aaron Calixte, this time last year a Maine point guard whose March Madness experience consisted of two America East Tournament blowouts to Vermont, stood transfixed at the men who joined the circle. Jim Nantz, 59. Bill Raftery, 75. Grant Hill, 46. They say college basketball stars are transient. Trae Young a year ago, Zion Williamson now, here for but a season.

  • Win Case's Oklahoma roots run deep, even though he's now at Ole Miss

    Win Case\'s Oklahoma roots run deep, even though...

    Updated: 5 days ago

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – The face will look familiar when you see it on the Ole Miss bench Friday, during the Rebels’ NCAA Tournament game against Oklahoma. The smile will be the dead giveaway. Winfred Case. Yes, Win Case. The eternally young, always smiling, personality deluxe Win Case. Case, the protégé of Paul Hansen and the college teammate of Bill Self, has been gone from Oklahoma for 11 years, the length of time he’s been an assistant coach to Kermit Davis, a full decade at Middle Tennessee State and now a year at Mississippi. But Case’s Oklahoma ties remain deep. Tulsa Hale High School. Seminole State College. A two-year teammate of Self at OSU, where they were the starting backcourt in both 1983-84 and

  • NBA on ESPN announcer Mike Breen is a prince, and here's a story to prove it

    NBA on ESPN announcer Mike Breen is a prince,...

    Updated: 5 days ago

    I speak to a lot of classes and civic clubs. I take a lot of questions. I don’t remember ever being asked what was my biggest blunder. But I know what it was. Mike Breen has been asked that question. He thought about it and came up with one. Our blunders are intricately related. Breen is in town this weekend. He’ll call the Thunder-Warriors for ABC on Saturday night. Breen is the best in the business. Not just the basketball business. The sports business. Great knowledge. Great timing. Great voice. Great quarterbacking of partners Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson. As an added bonus, he’s a fine fellow. A prince among men. I have never met a network announcer so friendly and down-to-Earth. So now, the

  • Since Nick Collison is in town for his number retirement, maybe he could get through to Russell Westbrook

    Since Nick Collison is in town for his number...

    Berry Tramel | Updated: 6 days ago

    Nick Collison did a lot for the Thunder, and the Thunder did a lot for Collison, and that symbiotic relationship continues Wednesday night. The Thunder will retire Collison’s No. 4. His jersey will become the first to hang from the rafters at Chesapeake Energy Arena. It’s a nice touch to honor a rare career. Only eight NBA players have spent their entire careers with one franchise while playing longer than Collison’s 15 seasons with the Thunder/SuperSonics. Miami’s Udonis Haslem, 16 and counting, plus superstars – Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant, John Stockton, Tim Duncan, Reggie Miller, Manu Ginobili and John Havlicek. But longevity itself doesn’t mean automatic number retirement. The Indiana Pacers didn’t retire

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Berry Tramel

    Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Berry Tramel

    Updated: 6 days ago

    Read an unedited transcript of today's chat with columnist Berry Tramel.

  • NCAA Tournament: Now it's time for the Sooners to help themselves

    NCAA Tournament: Now it\'s time for the Sooners...

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Mar 18, 2019

    NORMAN – The NCAA Tournament Selection Show didn’t make the Sooners wait. Sixty-eight teams would be announced, but “Oklahoma” popped up on the screen as the 22nd name called. That was good for crimson blood pressure, which ran a little high after OU’s loss to last-place West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament last week. And that wasn’t the only solid handed out to the Sooners in the 2019 version of March Madness. The NCAA basketball committee did exactly what it said it would do. Don’t ever de-value those who follow through on a promise.

  • The expansion of the NCAA Tournament has diluted March Madness

    The expansion of the NCAA Tournament has...

    Updated: Sun, Mar 17, 2019

    In March 1993, Billy Tubbs’ Sooners went to Kansas City with a 19-10 record and lost 69-55 to Iowa State in the Big Eight Tournament quarterfinals. Those Sooners went 7-7 in a loaded Big Eight, tied for fifth. OU played a really good non-conference schedule. Beat a UMass team that finished 24-7. Beat Texas and DePaul on neutral floors; beat Oregon State and South Carolina in Norman. Lost to Brigham Young by one point in Hawaii; those Cougars reached the second round of the NCAAs. Lost to Maryland on a neutral floor. Lost in overtime at Duke. Six of the eight Big Eight teams made the 64-team NCAA Tournament. OU did not. Sunday afternoon, the 2019 NCAA bracket will be revealed, and the 19-13 Sooners not only figure to

  • A star is born: OSU freshman Yor Anei shines despite Cowboys' 73-70 loss to TCU

    A star is born: OSU freshman Yor Anei shines...

    Updated: Thu, Mar 14, 2019

    A troubled OSU basketball season ended Wednesday night with a 73-70 loss to TCU in the Big 12 Tournament, but better days are ahead.

  • Lon Kruger goes back to the old Big Eight Holiday Tournament but lauds Big 12

    Lon Kruger goes back to the old Big Eight...

    Updated: Wed, Mar 13, 2019

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Lonnie Kruger would hop on the bus with his Silver Lake, Kansas, teammates and coaches, make the 77-mile drive to KC, grab some lunch, darken the door of Municipal Auditorium and enjoy some holiday basketball. That’s how far back Kruger goes with this conference’s basketball tournament. Back to the 1960s. “Just a bunch of high school kids that are wide-eyed and excited to be here,” Kruger said. “Watching the JoJo Whites and Steve Honeycutts and Willie Murrells and all those great players from KU and K-State.” Fifty-five years. That’s how far back Kruger goes with some version of the Kansas City tradition.

  • The Thunder leads the NBA in technical fouls; how's that working out?

    The Thunder leads the NBA in technical fouls;...

    Updated: Mon, Mar 11, 2019

    Russell Westbrook leads the NBA with 15 technical fouls, not counting two that were rescinded. Billy Donovan has been called for nine techs, one of them rescinded. Only Memphis’ J.B. Bickerstaff has more among coaches. Paul George was fined $25,000 Saturday for criticizing the officiating Friday night after the Clipper game; he’s one of only four players to take that plunge this season in the league. The Thunder is the only NBA team sporting three players with at least eight technical (Dennis Schroder has nine, George eight). The Thunder as a team leads the NBA with 70 technicals. The evidence is clear. OKC leads the NBA in moaning and complaining.

  • OU football: Lincoln Riley always is recruiting, and that's a good thing for the Sooners

    OU football: Lincoln Riley always is...

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Sun, Mar 10, 2019

    An elderly man recognized me this week and wanted to talk a little OU football. “Let me ask you something,” he said. “Will they ever win another national championship in my lifetime.” I’m an optimistic sort. Both about the teams we follow and life expectancies. So I was encouraging to the fellow. I told him there was a decent chance. Of course, I was buoyed by having listened to Lincoln Riley a day earlier. Riley is committed to the lifeblood of college football success. The guy has a passion for recruiting. Riley spent part of his spring practice press conference Thursday building up the April 13 spring game and Kyler Murray’s NFL draft stock. Both are absolutely related to luring the best talent to Norman.

  • Power Lunch: Chat live with columnist Berry Tramel

    Power Lunch: Chat live with columnist Berry Tramel

    Updated: Wed, Mar 06, 2019

    Berry answers questions from readers.

  • Sooners rout KU to end Jayhawks' streak of 14 straight Big 12 championships

    Sooners rout KU to end Jayhawks\' streak of 14...

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Mar 06, 2019

    NORMAN – OU senior Kade Kordonowy lined up for a halftime, halfcourt shot, and on this historic Tuesday night, no one was shocked when the ball banked in. Call it the greatest halftime in Sooner history. Red Panda performs her remarkable routine, and a student wins $7,000 for a halfcourt shot. And the halftime didn’t upstage the ballgame. The Sooners did more than beat Kansas. Did more than rout the Jayhawks. OU ended KU’s incredible streak of Big 12 basketball championships. Church bells from Iowa Falls to Corpus Christi rang throughout the night as OU rolled 81-68 at Lloyd Noble Center.