WEATHERFORD – SWOSU Women’s Basketball standout Bethany Franks has announced her intention to return to the Lady Bulldogs in 2021-22 for a fifth season, taking advantage of an NCAA waiver to extend eligibility following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Franks is a three-time All-Great American Conference selection and she’s appeared in 114 games for the Lady Bulldogs over the past four seasons. She is ranked second in school history with 969 career rebounds and 12th on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,165 points to her credit. In addition, Franks is the active leader in NCAA Division II with 299 career steals, which far exceeds the school record she broke at the beginning of her junior season.
“There are a lot of reasons why I chose to come back, but the biggest is because one of the last conversations I got to have with my Dad before he passed was about school and the opportunity to play a fifth year,” Franks said. “During that talk, I told him that I wanted to end my career a little differently because this past season didn’t feel like a good note to end on. He agreed and couldn’t wait to watch me play one last season. So I’m coming back for my Dad.”
By returning for an extra season, Franks will extend her decorated career that includes four regular season Great American Conference Championships and one GAC Tournament Championship. The Lady Bulldogs are a combined 100-19 during that time and they’ve qualified for four NCAA Division II National Tournaments, highlighted by a winning the Central Regional Championship on the way to a National Runner-up finish in 2019. During the 2019 postseason run, Franks was named the Most Valuable Player of the GAC Tournament and earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team at the Elite Eight.
“Bethany has been a vital part of our team and growth over the past four years,” SWOSU Head Coach Kelsi Musick said. “We are so excited to have her return to finish her goals for our team. She will be able to help teach our young players as well, which is great for the future of Lady Bulldog Basketball!”
With the return of Franks, SWOSU will bring back all five starters from their 2021 team which finished 18-4 and won the regular season championship for the GAC’s Western Division.