When COVID-19 kept Beaver WBB sidelined, F. King Alexander subbed in, literally


The Oregon State women’s basketball team has had to battle issues with COVID-19 all season long.

The Beavers (6-5, 4-5 Pac-12 play) have played the fewest number of conference games in the Pac-12. Between December 21 - January 15, all six games (Washington, UCLA, USC, Cal, Stanford, and Arizona State) were postponed due to COIVD-19 protocols. 

Just when Oregon State returned to the court for a road game at Arizona, it was announced that the following game against Washington was also postponed with UW dealing with COVID-19 protocols of its own. 

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During that three-week stretch, the team was limited to what they could do in terms of practicing and personnel. That’s when the program turned to Oregon State University President F. King Alexander to fill in at practice. 

Yes, you read that correctly!

President Alexander joined host Ron Callan on the latest Talkin’ Beavers to explain more:

“At least for about two weeks I was working the scrimmaging with them when their numbers got so low because of quarantine,” said Alexander. “About half the team had to be quarantined about a month ago. So I had a wonderful opportunity to practice with them and scrimmage with them for two straight weeks. I look forward to getting back down there and doing it again. It was the first time I’ve been able to get a pickup game since last March.  


I enjoyed it. I got to know our players. I got to know them first hand, first name basis. They’re just a great, great group of young women.

Oregon State President F. King Alexander

This doesn’t come out of left field either. President Alexander comes from a long, family history surrounding women’s basketball. 

Alexanders mother had the opportunity to become the first Associate Athletics Director for women’s sports and is considered the founder of Lady Gator Athletics at the University of Florida in Gainsville, Florida. As someone who loved to watch sports and support his mom, Alexander attended a lot of women’s sports events back in the 1970s. 

As a father to three daughters himself, playing sports runs in his family too. 

Unfortunately, for the Oregon State women’s team, another wave of COVID-19 protocols hit the team recently. The team’s previous two contests hosting Arizona and Arizona State last weekend were postponed. 

Wonder if Alexander was called upon once again for scrimmages…

Up next for the Beavs is a date with No. 5 Stanford (17-2, 14-2 Pac-12) on Friday, February 12 at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Oregon.