Kids Club Event a Big Hit
Thousands of Thunder fans get to see their team on the floor at Chesapeake Energy Arena, but on Sunday night, they got to see three Thunder players up close and personal.
At the Devon Thunder Kids Club winter event at the Science Museum Oklahoma, the Thunder trio of Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Martin and DeAndre Liggins were joined by the Thunder Girls, Thunder Drummers, Storm Chasers and Rumble to entertain over 1500 Kids Club members. From a photo station to the pop-and-shot basketball station to a science exhibit, Thunder fans had a chance to hang out with the three Thunder players in a unique environment, which Perkins and company fully appreciated.
“It’s always a pleasure, and I think that’s why we go out and play so hard, because of the support that we have in the community as far as with our fans,” Perkins said. “It’s just unbelievable… It’s always a blessing to come back and be able to let the fans see a different side of you than what they see on the court.”
Perkins helped kids learn how to make slime in the science exhibit, Liggins held court at the photo booth and Martin taught children how to shoot a basketball with proper form at the pop-a-shot station. While Thunder players truly enjoy the team’s most frequent community events – the Rolling Thunder Book Bus, Reading Timeouts and Fit Clinics- Sunday’s event was a chance to spend time with a massive number of Thunder fans all at once.
“That was fun,” Martin said. “That was different from a lot of events. This one you get to break a little sweat playing basketball with kids. They were happy. And if they’re happy, we’re happy.”
The Science Museum Oklahoma was a perfect location for the event because of all of the amenities inside the building. From a Science Live presentation in the auditorium to fascinating scientific learning stations, kids and their families were able to have both a fun and informative experience. The enthusiasm was palpable throughout the night, from kids and parents alike, including from Shane Blehm, the father of a Kids Club member.
“It’s an awesome experience, we had a lot of fun,” Blehm said. “It gives the kids a chance to get close to the NBA team and become Thunder fans for life.”
The winter event is just one of many ways that the Devon Thunder Kids Club helps young Thunder fans learn more about their hometown team and the NBA. There are Thunder-themed gifts associated with being a Kids Club member in addition to discounts on Rumble appearances, Thunder Girl dance clinics and youth basketball camps. Young kids like Jose Rodriguez, who beamed at the prospect of meeting Thunder players and enjoying the science exhibits, recognize the benefits of the Kids Club.
“I joined the Kids Club and it’s a lot of fun,” Rodriguez said. “You get to do a lot of stuff, you get a lot of stuff and you get to meet some of the players. It’s really fun.”
For the Thunder, giving back to the community that supports them day-in and day-out is something they want to do as frequently as possible. That process starts with the youngest of Thunder fans and extends to those of all ages. Making an impression on the youth of Oklahoma City is a major priority for the Thunder organization from top to bottom, understanding the difference the players can make in a child’s life with just one visit.
“There were fun activities here, but of course K-Mart and I made it a thrill for the kids,” Liggins said. “Just being around kids is a good thing to me, spending time with kids that are doing good things off the court as well as on the court.”