Trio of Guards Hangs With Devon Thunder Kids Club

As Thunder guards Daequan Cook, Eric Maynor and Reggie Jackson strolled into Science Museum Oklahoma on Friday night and headed to the big double doors in the auditorium, they had no idea what was about to hit them. About 400 of the 1000 Thunder fans in attendance were waiting for them on the other side, and once Jackson and Maynor first entered the room, the crowd burst with applause, then when Cook walked in 20 seconds later, the audience exploded yet again, welcoming all three players to the Devon Thunder Kids Club Spring Event.

“I was definitely kind of spooked because I didn’t really expect it to be that loud,” Jackson said, chuckling. “I didn’t know what we were getting into. By the time I knew which way to look, the crowd was going wild.”

While it wasn’t quite at the booming level of Chesapeake Energy Arena, the 1,000 fans at the museum were beyond excited to interact with the trio of young guards who are not only essential to the team’s success now, but are an embodiment of the Thunder’s commitment to sustaining long-term growth and improvement. With events like the one on Friday, the Thunder is clearly also developing its relationship with the fans in Oklahoma City and continuing to build and strengthen the bonds in the community.

“We have the best fans in the NBA, and it shows on a day like this, on a Friday,” Maynor said. “People didn’t have to come out here but they came out here to show their support.”

The museum itself provided the kids with a lot of attractions to strengthen the mind and encourage the imagination, but all of that was amplified when the Thunder players were on hand to help them learn more. The appearance of Rumble, the Thunder girls and the rest of the Thunder staff on hand to help also made the event a big hit.

One activity helped the children learn about liquid nitrogen, which at first was scary even to Cook. But once the children learned how interesting and cool it could be when used for dipping with cheese puffs, that wariness evaporated as quickly as the liquid nitrogen itself. The kids in attendance clamored for the snacks, and Jackson even joked that he might have a use for the technique.

“I don’t do too much cooking at all, so it’s something I might take home,” Jackson said with a laugh. “A nice little recipe to show my family and my friends.”

Meanwhile, Maynor was busy taking photos and also getting caricatures taken with fans and Cook was showing kids the effects of an explosive Alka-Seltzer concoction that drew laughter from all the fans. As he usually does, Cook held court with the fans, particularly at the pop-and-shot basketball station when he was helping kids with their shooting form. With a sheepish grin, Cook picked up one child who was struggling with the distance, and put him inside the bouncy contraption, giving him a better chance to knock down the shot.

Jackson said that he liked math growing up, and that this event was a great complement to the reading and health events the Thunder puts on with the Rolling Thunder Book Bus and the Fit Clinic. For those students who are more inclined for math or science like Jackson was as a child, Friday night’s event was perfect. A nine-year old, Christopher Jordan Parker, was ecstatic about the experience, saying his favorite part of the night was “Meeting the fans and the players and Rumble. They were awesome!”

The Thunder just got back early Friday morning from a difficult but successful four-day road trip, where it earned victories at Portland and in Los Angeles against the Lakers. Despite that, this trio still had the energy and enthusiasm to spend their night hanging out with the fans that support the organization and the children that hold the city’s future.

“It means a lot, I always enjoy having a good time with the kids,” Cook said. “I always look forward to coming out and having fun with them.”

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The Devon Thunder Kids Club is now more than 1,700 members strong. To secure a spot in next year’s 2012-13 Devon Thunder Kids Club, visit THUNDER.NBA.COM. Friday, only current Thunder Kids Club members will be able to gain entry to this Thunder event at Science Museum Oklahoma.