ROYCE YOUNG

From Daily Fan to Daily Thunder

Royce Young liked having a sports column in the University of Oklahoma student newspaper. It provided him with a means to sound off on all sorts of topics, but, in his final semester, the journalism major decided it was time to forego the column and focus on his upcoming graduation.

Then the announcement came that Oklahoma City was getting an NBA team. Suddenly Royce found himself bereft of a way to spout off about arguably the biggest sports development in the history of his hometown.

“It was driving me crazy, reading everybody else’s opinion about it,” said the 24-year-old.

“Even though my college column wasn’t a big deal, it at least felt therapeutic to be able to say it, and say here’s my opinion on record.”

Royce no longer had a column, but he had a computer -- and that’s all he needed to hop on the Internet and launch a blog.

“I thought, ‘I’ve got a journalism background and I want to keep writing, so why not go ahead and start one?’” he recalled.

“I have no idea how people even started reading [the blog]. I’d have 300 hits a day, and I just kind of assumed it was my mother refreshing 42 times.”

That site eventually became Daily Thunder. Boasting a breezy writing style and merging his dual passions for sportswriting and fandom, Royce created a fan-friendly blog for an array of Thunder news and commentary.

“I’m a fan as much as anybody else, so if I think it’s interesting or important, other people probably will, too,” he said.

“If I find that Kevin Durant wearing a funny shirt is interesting, that’s probably going to be interesting to somebody else, too. I think my fanship has actually made the blog more successful than it would have been. More than anything else, I just want to keep it as, ‘I’m a fan just like you are, and this is what I saw.’”

He must’ve been doing something right. Only months after its unveiling, Daily Thunder caught the attention of ESPN.com, which added Daily Thunder to its True Hoop Network, a community of bloggers writing about NBA basketball. This summer, CBS Sports enlisted Royce as an online blogger on the NBA.

The affiliation with both media giants has helped bolster the website’s exposure, to where it now attracts about 350,000 page views each month.

Not bad for someone who admits he really didn’t pay much attention to the NBA until the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“Once the NBA came, I started to fall in love with the game,” Royce said.

“I prefer the NBA tenfold to college basketball. I appreciate the game itself because I watch it a lot more closely. You just start enjoying transactions and trade talk and rumors -- all that stuff you kind of miss out on in college basketball.”

You don’t need to be a blogger to get caught up in the fandom of THUNDERALLY, an online, interactive community for Thunder fans.

Phil Bacharach is the Director of Corporate Communications for the Thunder. He is looking for die-hard Thunder fans throughout the world. If you or somebody you know bleeds Thunder blue, contact Phil by clicking here

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