From China, for the Thunder

While the Thunder Girls have been making stops in China over the summer, two young fans from China found a way to come straight to the source of Thunder Basketball.

Sonny Huang and his friend Tion Huang have spent this week at the Thunder Youth Basketball Summer Camp, right here in Oklahoma City.

The boys’ love of basketball and their connection to a Thunder Season Ticket Member helped them make the trip to get some hands-on instruction in the game.

“The camp is so interesting,” said Sonny, whose uncle – Season Ticket Member Ted Milford – decided to encourage him to take the opportunity to play Thunder Basketball this summer.

Milford, who had taken a trip to China in February to visit the boy and his family, has helped convert Sonny into a Thunder fan by sending care packages full of Thunder gear. But he wanted to give his nephew an even better way to engage with the team.

“When we were over in China … we noticed everybody is a big basketball fan,” Milford said. “I asked his parents, ‘Why don’t you send him over, and we’ll send him to the camp?’”

Not only did the boy’s parents decide to send him to the camp, they made the trip, as well – and brought Tion along to enhance the experience.

“They both are having a very good time, so we’re real happy,” added Milford.

Tyler Blackwell, who runs the Thunder Youth Basketball program, noted that previous campers have come from all corners of the U.S. – from Washington state to Washington, D.C. – but, to his knowledge, Sonny and Tion have traveled the greatest distance.

“We’ve had kids from all over the United States,” Blackwell said; “it’s been an outstanding turnout” for the camps, which are in their second year.

Presented by Cox Communications, Thunder Youth Basketball Camps take place year-round and offer boys and girls the opportunity to learn the skills and principles that make a successful team player. Though registration is full for the remaining summer-camp schedule, dates for fall camps are forthcoming. Check THUNDER.NBA.COM for more details.