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Remembering Lee Roy Selmon: Close Bond Went Beyond Brothers to All Selmon Siblings

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Only a couple weeks ago, Lucious Selmon was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

No doubt he was excited about the honor.

But he was more excited about having all eight of his siblings there to share the night with him.

I was reminded of that this weekend at the news of brother Lee Roy’s massive stroke. Family members raced to the Oklahoma legend’s bedside on Friday after he was found unconscious and rushed to a Tampa-area hospital. They dropped everything they were doing and got there as quickly as they could.

I pray all eight of the Selmon siblings got there before Lee Roy died on Sunday.

Much has been written and said over the years about the Selmon clan. They were raised on a farm by God-fearing parents. They went to church together. They did chores together. They laughed and cried and did pretty much everything together.

That bond is still strong today.

And not just between Lucious, Dewey and Lee Roy. Everyone knows about the three football-playing Selmons, the defensive linemen who played side-by-side-by-side for the Sooners and created one of the most fearsome fronts that college football has ever seen. Their bond was obvious on the field, and in the years since, it’s been even more obvious off the field.

But the truth is, all of the Selmons are as tight as Lucious, Dewey and Lee Roy were.

As I stood talking to Lucious before the festivities got under way on the night of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame inductions, I asked him how many of the Selmon siblings would be in attendance.

“All nine,” he said.

All nine?

“All nine,” he confirmed with a smile and a twinkle in his eye.

He told me proudly that they needed three tables just to hold all the family members. You could see on his face and hear in his voice that he was pleased as punch that his induction was cause for an unofficial Selmon family reunion.

When he spied brother Dewey coming through the door, Lucious broke into a huge grin. The men bearhugged and started swaying back and forth, almost dancing together out of the joy of being together.

And here’s the thing, I suspect Lucious would’ve acted the exact same way for any of his siblings. Elmer. Charles. Chester. Shirlene. Joyce. Margaret. Dewey. Lee Roy. Any of them would’ve gotten the same love.

It is obvious — family is paramount to the Selmons.

That’s why I hope all of the siblings made it to Florida before Lee Roy died. The pain that they’re feeling now can’t be diminished, but maybe, just maybe, the first balm in their healing is that they were able to be together again one last time.


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Jenni Carlson

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football... Read more ›