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'The best small-college atmosphere in the state.'

Tuesday, July 10, 2007  
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"The best small-college atmosphere in the state."

That’s how Oklahoman sports editor Berry Tramel described Oklahoma Christian University’s Eagles’ Nest in his rankings of the top 100 sports venues in Oklahoma history.

The Eagles' Nest ranked No. 84 on the overall list, and 13th among active college facilities. Gable Field (Northeastern Oklahoma State’s football stadium) and the Nest were the only non-NCAA Division I current college venues to make the cut.

The 2,500-seat Eagles’ Nest is the centerpiece of OC’s Payne Athletic Center, which opened in 1970. Named for W.T. Payne, the facility is home to the Eagle and Lady Eagle basketball teams and to OC Cage Camp, known as the best fundamental basketball camp in this part of the United States.

In addition to the Nest’s recognition, Midwest Trophy landed at No. 74 on the Oklahoman’s sports venue list. Midwest Trophy (now known as MTM Recognition) produces the hardware for the majority of America’s sports championships, including the BCS. David Smith, an Oklahoma Christian alumnus and a member of the OC Athletic Hall of Fame, is MTM’s founder and chief executive officer.

Smith was a member of the Oklahoma Christian basketball team from 1966 to 1968. In his final season, he averaged more than 17 points and 10 rebounds per game and helped lead the Eagles to their first NAIA national tournament appearance.

Click here to see the Oklahoman’s full list of the top 100 sports venues in state history.


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