Thunder Launches H.S. Basketball Community Challenge

OKLAHOMA CITY, Mar. 10 – As high school basketball teams from across Oklahoma gather for the state tournaments this weekend, the Oklahoma City Thunder is reaching out to boys and girls basketball coaches and players statewide, encouraging them to develop and carry out community service programs. The teams performing the most worthwhile service as part of the Thunder High School Basketball Community Service Challenge will receive special recognition and a visit from Thunder Basketball in the fall.

“High school coaches and players have an enormous impact on their communities. The Thunder respects this and is excited to be able to reach out and support them in their efforts as coaches and mentors,” said Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

“Everyone wins with a program that is community-based such as this, but ultimately the people who really win are the people in the neighborhoods, towns and cities that, when combined, make up our state. Our hope is to have high school programs actively participating in their communities on a daily basis and creating civic value at a grassroots level. At the end of the day, that's what it’s all about, and driving these initiatives is a big part of our organizational vision.”

Presti, Head Coach Scott Brooks and his staff and others from the Thunder recently met with a group of high school coaches to outline the Community Service Challenge. The Thunder is now communicating statewide with coaches, encouraging them to participate.

As part of the Challenge, the teams will report the programs and hours of service performed to the Thunder Community Relations Department. Teams will be judged by the number of hours they report and the quality of the service they perform. At the end of September, the Thunder will select one boys and one girls team to each receive a Thunder-themed, professional basketball experience next season on the school’s home court, complete with Thunder game night music, player introductions, Rumble the Bison, Thunder Girls, game video analysis by Thunder staff and a special DVD of their game night. Any team reporting at least 25 volunteer hours will receive Thunder prizes, which could include tickets or merchandise.

Coaches and school officials interested in participating can download guidelines, details and forms at http://www.nba.com/thunder/media/OK_HS_BBall_Community_Challenge.pdf.

For specific questions about the program, contact Thunder Director of Community Relations Christine Berney. She can be reached via email at cberney@thunder-nba.com or by phone at (405) 208-4710.