Thunder Acts of Kindness in OKC
Next time you stop to get gas at a Love’s location in the Oklahoma City area, make sure you stop inside because you never know who might be there to surprise you.
Jenny Dugas and her six-year-old son Zane popped into a Love’s on Saturday afternoon, and what they saw left them awestruck.
“We were just stopping by getting gas and getting some candy, then we walked in and were like, ‘Why is there a camera here?’” Dugas said. “Then we saw Kevin Durant working the register.”
Alongside Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Durant participated in one of four Thunder “Acts of Kindness” on Saturday, as players dropped by an Oklahoma City Sport Clips, Love’s, McDonalds and Kia dealership to hand out free goods to Oklahomans and connect with those in the community.
The afternoon started off with Russell Westbrook and Nick Collison at Sport Clips, where they passed out gift cards for discounted haircuts, while also mingling with the kids in attendance. Staffers, parents and children were all shocked that the Thunder duo would drop by just to say hello as a complete surprise.
“I feel like if we just pop up at a random grocery store or a random barber shop like this and catch people off guard, it’s better that way,” Westbrook said. “It shows that you really care and that we’re unique.”
“It’s fun for the people in town,” Collison said. “There are guys all over the city doing stuff today. We feel blessed to have the support that we do, so we have fun getting out and mingling, meeting people and just thanking them for their support.”
The next pair to make a trip into the community were Durant and Perkins, who took turns ringing people up at the cash register at Love’s while unwitting customers came inside to buy lottery tickets and snacks. Perkins gave Durant a hard time about his work behind the register, which earned laughs from everyone within earshot. Moments like those this afternoon gave fans a glimpse of the Thunder players’ personalities and showed their down-to-earth natures.
“We’re just surprising people and making their day,” Perkins said. “They never know who they can run into walking into the gas station.”
“If I walked in and saw two big guys behind the counter, I’d be surprised too,” Durant said. “It’s cool to see smiles and see fans that support us every day.”
The third stop of the afternoon was at McDonald’s where Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson handed out free food to patrons for the entire time the duo was there. Roberson surprised multiple customers by popping his head out of the drive-thru window as they came to pick up their food, while Ibaka worked behind the register, handing out food.
“This is the first time I’ve ever heard of this or a team doing this,” Roberson said. “It’s a pretty special experience for me and for them, so it works both ways.”
The afternoon rounded out with Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones spending some time at a local Kia dealership, where they handed out coupons for free oil changes and then handed over the keys to a brand new car that a couple just bought that afternoon.
The reaction from the local Oklahomans in attendance at all of these events was one of surprise, gratitude and excitement, as both the players and the fans showed their mutual appreciation for one another. Saturday afternoon was a chance for the Thunder players to give back and thank their fans for being so supportive over the years, but it was also a chance for people like McDonald’s customers like Cherry Yount and Sharyl Richardson to connect with the team that they cheer on every single night.
“It’s absolutely fabulous,” Yount said. “The team that we have in Oklahoma City, we as fans, are appreciative of them. We have the best players. I love their attitudes and the way they act towards everybody.”
“This community loves this team,” Richardson said. “It just makes a connection and a bond. I think (today) will add more support.”