The Lady Hounds and the Thunder

LISA JOHNSON AND SAMMI HARKEY

A group from Gruver (Texas) High School’s girls’ basketball team saw the Thunder play last January.
At the top of the Texas panhandle sits the quiet town of Gruver. About 25 miles south of the Oklahoma-Texas border, it is a community of nearly 1,200 people – nine of whom are now self-proclaimed Thunder fans.

That’s because two friends in town, Lisa Johnson and Sammi Harkey, decided in January to introduce the NBA to a group of ninth-graders on the high school girls’ basketball team.

“It’s a real small town, so everybody knows everybody,” Lisa said. “I helped coach them last summer, and I’ve known most of them forever.”

On Jan. 16, Lisa, Sammi and the Lady Hounds hopped in a Suburban and made the journey to the Ford Center, where they saw the Thunder take on – and soundly defeat – the Miami Heat.

“I was impressed with how many diehard fans there already were at the game,” said 25-year-old Lisa.

She’s gotten used to the deluge of fans since then, though, having made that six-hour drive a couple more times to catch the Thunder in person.

As for the Lady Hounds, Lisa said the girls left Oklahoma City with a newfound love for the Thunder.

She expects to help create more Thunder converts next season.

“We’re going to try to take a different group every year,” she said.

Thunder fans nationwide (and beyond) congregate on THUNDERALLY, an online, interactive community that celebrates all things Thunder.


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