Tiger by the Tail

Bratchett Signs with Lady Lions

QUEEN AND HER COURT: Okievia Bratchett surrounded by her father and mother; Carlos and Tenesia Johnson along with her sister Tyeshia Johnson. Standing is head coach Arlon Beadles (SAGU) and Laura Walker-Holmes (Tenaha HS).  WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Following an outstanding four-year career of a trio of hoopsters who led their team to heights never known before, Southwestern Assemblies of God University’s women’s basketball team wants more.

Stephanie Hawkins (DeSoto, Tx / DeSoto HS), Heather Jefferson (Conroe, Tx / Conroe HS) and Chelsea Jones (San Antonio, Tx / Cornerstone Christian) came to a SAGU program with only one winning season in its brief history. They left having raised the Lady Lions to a berth in the NAIA national tournament in 2010, to the NCCAA nationals in 2011 and into the RRAC tourney the past three campaigns.

Under head coach Arlon Beadles the Purple Pride won 24, 25 and 23 games behind the three bucketeers during those three seasons. He has been on the recruiting trail preparing for the day they would hang up their sneakers. Coach Beadles took another solid step in that direction last week.

Okievia Bratchett, a cat-quick point guard from East Texas signed a National Letter of Intent to play at SAGU during a special ceremony in her hometown of Tenaha, Texas.

She will be a very good player for our team,” said Coach Beadles. “Okievia is a true point guard and that will be a big help to our team. I am thrilled that she is going to play for the Lady Lions.

Don Fallin, the Superintendent of the Tenaha Independent School District, spoke to an audience of family, friends and teammates. He encouraged Bratchett’s teammates to “strive to achieve remarkable accomplishments, just as Okievia has.” 

At 5-foot-4, Bratchett scored 17 points per game and led her team in assists. She was selected the Most Valuable Player in the 1A District 22 in two separate seasons while also being named First Team All-District twice.

She was credited with over four steals per outing, shot 42% from the floor and 68% on the foul line. The Tigers’ captain, Bratchett garnered several other awards at Tenaha, including MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in 2011. 

Playing for head coach Laura Walker-Holmes, Bratchett and Tenaha posted a 17-12 won-lost record over the winter. The maroon-clad Tigers went 9-1 in their league to claim their fourth consecutive district championship.

Okievia has been a tremendous asset to the Tenaha Lady Tiger basketball program over the last four years,” commented her coach, Walker-Holmes. “She has received numerous honors and has contributed to the success of our program throughout her high school career.  I look forward to seeing her play next year and am anticipating her success continuing at SAGU.

She is the first Tenaha girls basketball player since 1984 to sign with a major university. Coach Walker-Holmes doesn’t believe she will be the last. Bratchett plans to take advantage of her basketball scholarship to complete a major in Kinesiology.

Bratchett has great company

Bratchett joins what is shaping up to be a very solid recruiting class that includes; Cordia Harvatin (San Antonio, Tx / Stacey HS), a 5’8 small forward; Brittany Griffin (Rockwall, Tx / Rockwall Christian), a 5’11 power forward; Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS), a 6’1 center and Bethany Krock (San Antonio, Tx / Cornerstone Christian), a 5’5 point guard.

About Southwestern

Southwestern is a private Christian university with over 60 majors, located in Waxahachie, Texas. SAGU had another record enrollment last year, with approximately 2,100 students.

In athletics they enjoy dual membership in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA), both in Division I. The Lions also compete in the Red River Athletic Conference, which has 15 member institutions located in four states.


The Lady Lions will again have most of their home games broadcast over the internet, on iPhones and many communication systems in high definition. With free access to viewing the video webcasts, fans can follow both the men’s and women’s SAGU basketball teams.

Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 469-658-2847