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Amateur Athlete: After Combined 65 Years on Scoreboard, OIT's Kings Say Goodbye

Bert King has been running the scoreboard at Oregon Tech for 41 years, and his wife Sam has joined him for the last 24. After this season, they will walk away.

Posted: Feb. 15, 2018 1:51 PM
Updated: Feb. 15, 2018 7:30 PM

KLAMATH FALLS -- Time has seemingly stood still the last 41 seasons for Bert King, who runs the scoreboard at Oregon Tech home basketball games. He doesn't understand how he could have started in 1978 season and still love it as much as he does today. 

The one thing he might love a little more has also been by his side at the scorer's table for the last 24 seasons. He met his wife, Sam, while the two were both working at Oregon Tech and they were married in 1994. It wasn't long before he got her to help him on the sidelines.

"He said, 'You ought to try doing it, you might have fun,'" Sam said, "It's the best seat in the house."

From those seats, the Kings have watched countless Hustlin' Owls teams come and go. They've gotten to know they players. They've held team parties and dinners at their home. 

"It's just fun that the kids know you and you know them," Sam said. 

They've been here for all the good times. Bert attended all three Owls' national championship games and saw them cut down the nets. Sam joined him for two of them. They also were at the game at College of Idaho when Greg Regan knocked down a buzzer-beater half-court shot to win the game. 

"That won the game and everyone in the College of Idaho stands was loud, because they thought they'd won," Bert said, "When he he hit that shot, you could hear a pin drop." 

Like the scoreboard of every game they've been at, though, the clock as hit 0 on their time on the Oregon Tech sidelines. The couple is moving to Utah after this season to be closer to their many grandchildren. 

"We're about 12 to 14 hours away from all our grandkids. We want to get closer, so we're going to get closer," Sam said. 

Bert is excited to be closer to his grandkids, but can't help but look back on what he'll miss most about Klamath Falls. 

"Every four years, we get to know a new group and I'll miss that," Bert said, "Just being here in Klamath Falls is special." 

And after a combined 65 years at the scorer's table, the couple says they wouldn't change a second of their experience. 

"We haven't regretted a thing since we've been here," Sam said. 

Bert and Sam are retired now, but each worked at Oregon Tech for decades. All of their children attended Oregon Tech. If everything comes full circle, maybe the grandkids they're moving closer to will attend college in Klamath Falls and give grandma and grandpa an excuse to come back home. 

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