How Gallagher Made a Basketball Fan

This is the fifth episode in our summer series featuring the stories that make Gallagher-Iba Arena special. We premiered the story of The Sparks – a husband and wife who met on a blind date in Gallagher-Iba and have been going back ever since. Our second show, Larry Reese, The Voice of GIA and what he’s brought to the table for over 20 years. The third featured Dave Hunziker, The Voice of the Cowboys and his trip to Ohio State University. The fourth told the story of Ryan Hill, also known as the OSU Superhero.

Some things in life only need to be experienced before they can be appreciated.

Breanna Yeargin – an OSU alumnus – wasn’t always planning on being an Oklahoma State fan. In fact, growing up in Texas she was a fan of TCU along with her family. But when it came time for Leganes to choose a college, she had a few conditions.

“I had a requirement,” Yergin said. “I wanted somewhere with a vet school, but somewhere with a good football program.”

Oklahoma State happened to be one of only four schools that met the school year requirements.

With her grandmother pushing her to go to Ohio State University, Yejin reluctantly agrees to go on a campus tour.

“I kind of wanted to go to Eskimo Joe’s, get a T-shirt and get some cheese fries,” Yergin said.

She makes a deal with her grandmother and agrees that they will go to Eskimo Joe together if Yeargin tours the school.“So, I did my run with my arms crossed, wondering how fast it could end,” Yargin said. “And in the end, I said: So, how do I apply.”

Next thing I knew, she ended up in Stillwater.

But her trip to Gallagher-Iba Arena will take a little longer. When it came time to buy season tickets, students at that time could choose between football and basketball. Yergin came for football, she didn’t really know basketball, so the decision was easy.

That fall, she bought season tickets and never missed a game at Boone Pickens Stadium with the Cowboys.

After the football season ended, Yargin thought that she would try to go to the GIA basketball game. I spoke with former Ohio State University marketing coordinator Leroy McCullough about it and he convinced her it was a good idea.

Somewhat hesitantly and without being a fan of basketball, Yargin bought tickets for her first game at the GIA in 2011. She did not know how influential the game of her choice would be.

The random tickets she bought were for the 10th anniversary game of the Remember Ten tragedy that claimed ten lives with men’s basketball who perished after their plane crashed while returning home from a game in Colorado.

The Pokes played Texans on January 26, 2011, keeping their promise to always remember the fallen ten.

“I saw a lot of tradition in that match,” Yergin said. “I bought tickets for every game the rest of that season.”

Being a Ten Remember game, Yeargin got the GIA experience at its best.

“It was a completely sold-out yard and it was very noisy,” Yergin said. “You left and there was a ring in your ear for a little while.”

After falling in love with GIA’s Joe Gameday, Yeargin noticed the Cowboy Basketball Spurs — a select group of spirit-promoting young women on the OSU basketball program — and applied.

“When we became Tottenham it was the season Marcus Smart was a freshman,” said Yargin, referring to the 2012-13 season.

For Spurs, the fun came from sitting straight on the bench and supporting the Cowboys basketball.

“There is no better seat in the house than his,” she said.

After graduating and moving to Memphis for work, she could only watch games on TV or some select road games. It wasn’t the same, but it was something.

“You don’t see a cowboy basketball there,” Yergin said. “So, he would watch every match on TV and follow it that way.”

Fast forward to 2021, Yeargin and her family got the chance to go to a game at the GIA for the first time in years. Her husband, Danny Yargen, said she’d go if she got free tickets. Danny and her daughter did not go to the GIA.

Once again, Yeargin will get to experience the Legendary Arena for the first time. So, she can get tickets.

With that, Breanna set out to find a way to make it happen.

“I tweeted about Ohio State University men’s basketball,” Yargin said in an effort to get free tickets. “Coach Boynton is the one who retweeted it to me.”

So, Brianna and Danny and their 2-year-old daughter, Harper, went to Game One of 2021, an exhibition match against University of Central Oklahoma in November. Just two days after the NCAA decided to support OSU’s post-season ban.

Once again, as always, the Cowboy family would meet at Gallagher-Iba to wrap around the team and provide one of the best show atmosphere anyone in that arena could ever experience.

“We came to the game,” she said, “and he said, ‘I can see why you like this place.'”

After bringing her family to Stillwater, she was happy to let her husband and daughter try out a game of basketball at her alma mater.

Danny says, ‘I feel this tradition here. You don’t have to go to Ohio State University to feel the tradition when you walk in Gallagher-Iba. Breanna said.

After a busy weekend with a basketball game, a tailgate and a soccer game against UCSD, it felt like it was in college again. Even if it was only for a few days.

“I had to relive each experience because I love this place so much.” Yergin said.

After agreeing to tour Oklahoma just because she wanted cheesy fries from Eskimo Joe, Yergin finds herself an OSU fanatic and a forever home in Stillwater.

“My loyalty will always be OSU,” Yargin said.

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